Ben Affleck Directing Fox Crime Drama Pilot ‘The Middle Man’

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Ben Affleck Bruce Wayne Discussion Ben Affleck Directing Fox Crime Drama Pilot The Middle Man

He may be playing a “tired and weary” Batman in Batman Vs. Superman, but Ben Affleck is staying very busy with his own directing projects. Hot off the Oscar-winning success of Argo, Affleck is still slated to direct the thriller Live by Night for Warner Bros., with a release date still set for 2014.

If those projects – along with co-headlining some little superhero movie – Ben Affleck is now moving into new territory as a director: television.

As reported by Deadline, Affleck will be helming the pilot for a crime drama series titled The Middle Man, which was ordered by Fox. Set in Affleck’s native Boston – like his first two films as a director – the project is shepherded by Affleck’s Pearl Street Films, with Affleck executive producing with pilot writer and eventual showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron (creator of Medium).

As for the premise:

“Described as a classic Boston crime story, it is set in the 1960s and tells the story of Rudy MacAteer, an FBI agent charged with taking down the Italian mafia, and his confidential informant, Irish-American gangster Mickey Flood. MacAteer’s efforts inadvertently give rise to the Irish mob, as he finds himself bending the laws he is governed by.”

This project marks the first TV pilot Affleck has been involved in. He and Matt Damon previously executive produced the filmmaker reality show Project Greenlight and the drama series Push, NevadaThe Middle Man was originally pitched to Pearl Street Films producer Chay Carter by writers Michael Yebba (Ordinary Man) and Emilio Mauro (God Only Knows) during the filming of The Town in 2009.

Affleck was apparently interested, but development was delayed due to his duties directing and starring in Argo. After being introduced to Glenn Gordon Caron via their mutual reps at William Morris Endeavor, Caron wrote a spec pilot which he developed with Yebba and Mauro. Casting will start as soon as possible, and production is said to begin early next year.

Jon Hamm FBI the town Ben Affleck Directing Fox Crime Drama Pilot The Middle Man

From the sound of it, Affleck’s schedule is tightly-packed. There is no word just where in this dance card he’ll be helming this project, but since he’s currently on top of the world (and prudently staying mum about the Batman casting chaos for the time being), all parties involved are likely to give the filmmaker all the room he needs to fulfill his obligations to not just this pilot but Live By Night, but also begin filming Batman vs. Superman in time for its release in July 2015.

The world has seen enough mafia-themed projects – and Affleck’s Pearl Street Films is also behind the upcoming Whitey, about the now-incarcerated Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger (who also inspired Jack Nicholson’s villain in Boston-set The Departed) – but the origin of the Irish mob in Boston is a story that deserves a long-term treatment, and Affleck is definitely in his wheelhouse with this one.

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The Middle Man is currently in development, with no premiere date set. Stay tuned for information, as always.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Boston/Affleck…you don’t say…

  2. You couldn’t beat Ben Affleck away from a Boston show/movie with a batarang. I’m interested in this show. I love that time period and I love mob/crime stories. If any scranters want some more good Irish mob stories check out Kill the Irishman with Ray Stevenson or 50 Dead Men Walking with Jim Sturgess. Both are true stories. I can’t wait to see what Affleck does with this though, as well as Batman.

  3. I’m getting sick of Ben Affleck turning up everywhere now!!

    • It’s not like Affleck has been everywhere 24-7 for the past decade.

      I’m starting to see more of Matthew Lillard recently and that makes me happy. Heck, I wouldn’t mind if he played The Joker opposite to Ben’s Batman.

      I fear this what will become of Benedict Cumberbatch, someone who has been popping up in every other movie. One day somebody will wake up, get sick of it all, and start distancing themselves from their work until the actor/actress turns 50 and end up going to a poorly-written family Comedy starring that same person spoofing themselves.

      • He could probably do a decent Joker. I’m still hoping Burn Gorman gets the part. I know he was already in the Dark Knight Rises but it was a small part.

        I don’t see the problem with Affleck popping up everywhere. He directed some really great films and is coming back into his acting career as well. Expect to see more of him, 6YardsOut.

        I hope that doesn’t happen to ole Benny. He’s not really my favorite actor but he does great character work. I’m excited to see him play Julian Assange

        • The reason why I suggested Matthew Lillard, or the multiple reasons, are:

          1.) As surprising as Affleck turned out to be, I’d expect another casting choice to be sort of out there as well. Lillard, while not having the same impact as Affleck with feats like “The Town” and “Argo”, has sort of appeared out of nowhere in a good way.

          2.) He is around the same age range as Ben.

          3.) The Joker has never been depicted as taller than Batman, but he has been depicted as taller than most of the others. Lillard is 6’3, Affleck is 6’4 and possibly 6’5 or 6’6 in the Batsuit.

          4.) We all know Lillard has The Joker build.

          5.) To me, there’s something about Matthew that has a lunatic look. Not a pure one, but it’s there. I think he could work well with supplying dark humor.

          • Well yeah he got kinda weird in SLC Punk, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly creepy about him. Anyone can do lunatic. I think Burn Gorman is a better choice because he has that strange mouth and jaw. It’s looks unnatural. I think Gorman could bring the true horror aspect to Joker. Joker is more than a lunatic. He’s someone who finds peace and happiness in causing as much terror and death as possible. When people watch The Dark Knight people say, “I can’t wait to see the Joker.” When they do the next Joker, I want people to cringe when he comes on screen and say, “I don’t know if I wanna watch this part.” I don’t think Lillard could instill the fear in people. He’d just be wacky.

            • No one wants a Heath Ledger wannabe.

              The Joker isn’t all about true horror. I don’t know where people got that idea since every Batman villain has something that makes them unique.

              Scarecrow is all about true horror, but not The Joker. All he wants is to do what he wants, when he wants. That is the parallel to Batman: Batman knows his place in the world, The Joker lost his place when he drove himself insane.

              In that sense, he’s a lot like Spider-Man’s Carnage, but it all isn’t about killing for Joker. He just wants his version of fun, no matter how twisted or absurd it ends up being. Unpredictable yet hilarious. You can’t just have a guy who creeps people out when laughing or killing someone.

              I don’t think many people get how creepy some other Batman villains are. Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Mad Hatter, etc. They are creepy because they think their way is the true path to happiness. The Joker doesn’t look for happiness, he just makes it happen in his own eyes.

              • Those villains are looking for the normal kind of happiness and going about it in really bad ways. The type of Joker I’m advocating isn’t a Heath Ledger wannabe. Heath Ledger’s Joker was great and all but nothing close to how awful the Joker can be. He was never actually shown killing anyone. They cut away when he killed that gangster who put out the bounty on him.

                Scarecrow is about using peoples’ personal fears. You misunderstand what I said about Joker. I don’t mean horror as a genre or something and I’m not saying he’s like Scarecrow. I’m saying he’s truly someone to be feared in the way that Hannibal Lecter is feared. He’s not just a zany wack job. He’s smart, he’s manipulative, and he’s ruthless. He’s the guy that beats Robin death with a crowbar, laughing hysterically the entire time. He’s the guy who shoots Barbara Gordon without warning the second she opens the door. He then proceeds to undress her and take pictures then forces Commissioner Gordon to watch a slide show. If that doesn’t horrify people then they need to be in the asylum with the Joker. He’s sick and demented and that’s what I wanna see on screen.

              • I watched a fan film with Riddler in it,and he had carved a ? into his forehead; it was a different but effective change.

                Mad Hatter is essentially a pedophile which is inherently unnerving and the tack on all the drugs he uses to dose everyone.

                Do another Penguin but this time make him a competent hand to hand fighter, Judo and Sumo wrestling. He is a son of Gotham City and is pretty much the hunchback version of Bruce.

  4. a friend of my cousins nieghbour who watches his pet goldfish told me justin bieber plays the son of the mobster

  5. HE’SNOTEVENWEARINGHHOOOCCKKKEEYYPAAADDDDSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

  6. This is absolute BS. No offense to Affleck, I like him and all, he just NOT RIGHT to direct this. What a horrible choice, I’m going to change.org to start a petition.