Faced with the daunting prospect of stepping well outside his comfort zone by adapting Stephen King’s The Stand, Ben Affleck has immediately retreated to more familiar territory by getting Warner Bros. to instead put him on a crime story set in Boston—specifically, the story of recently arrested Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger—and also reunite him with his Matt Damon security blanket. Affleck is now all tucked in with his comfortingly broad vowels and Damon binky, and is feeling safe and warm and ready to turn Bulger’s life story into the Boston crime drama that he’s been longing to make ever since his last one.
Beyond just reuniting with his lifelong friend and Good Will Hunting partner, of course, it’s obviously familiar territory for Damon too, as he already starred in a film based on Bulger’s life story, elements from which made up Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. This time, however, Damon will step into the role of Bulger himself, tracking his rise through the streets of Boston to become a mob boss, FBI informant, and eventually, a guy who’s really pissed at his girlfriend. The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire writer-producer Terence Winter will handle the script, making for another guy working well within his wheelhouse here. No word on how this will affect those two other Whitey Bulger biopics that were previously reported to be in the offing. But considering Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Terence Winter could probably produce a Boston-set mob drama just by standing in a circle for a few minutes on Boylston St., we’d say this one will probably beat all other contenders to the punch.
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