Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Still Planning Gangster Biopic

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 13th, 2014 at 10:02 am,

ben affleck matt damon whitey bulger1 Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Still Planning Gangster Biopic

It’s old news at this point, but Ben Affleck very much did get the last laugh at the 85th Academy Awards, where his Iranian crisis drama-thriller Argo walked away as the Best Picture winner (despite Affleck being passed over as director) Debates about whether or not that success was deserved – which break out following every Oscar ceremony – are steadily dying off, in favor of the more interesting discussion now: where should Affleck the filmmaker go next?

The answer, it seems, is back home to Boston, which provided a social context and cultural backdrop for his and Matt Damon’s Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting script, as well as the revered cops and robbers drama The Town and Noir crime-mystery Gone Baby Gone (Affleck co-wrote and directed both films, in addition to headlining the former).

Affleck’s currently in the middle of writing his second adaptation of a novel by Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane, Live By Night, but is simultaneously planning a professional reunion with Damon (seeing how the two remain BFFs in reality) on a biopic about the city’s most infamous mobster: the crook-turned FBI informant Whitey Bulger. However, the probability of that happening was called into question last month, after Johnny Depp officially attached himself to the Bulger movie Black Mass (which director Barry Levinson begins shooting this summer).

Bulger (pictured above) is the real-life inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed, as the Boston underworld boss spent decades passing information to the government. The Boston Herald is reporting that Affleck hasn’t abandoned hopes to direct a biopic about the infamous criminal, with Damon bringing the real-world “character” to life. Both will be drawing from a script written by Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter, who also wrote Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biopic about the very different real-world crook Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street.

While you can count me among those interested in seeing Depp’s interpretation of Bulger, the biopic that Affleck, Damon and Winter are developing just sounds more promising based on the quality of their recent output; not to mention, Affleck and Damon’s statuses as quintessential Boston storytellers. Levinson’s recent directing efforts, by comparison, have lacked the satirical punch and social significance of his best work from decades past (see: The Bay, What Just Happened, Man of the Year).

So, which Whitey Bulger movie do YOU want to see more, Black Mass or Affleck and Damon’s biopic? Would you prefer Affleck instead concentrate his time and effort on another project, like Live By Night or his gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand? Let us know in the comments section!


Source: Boston Herald

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  1. Damon and Affleck’s version seems more interesting to me.

  2. I think Affleck will do Live by Night next (I think he’s already said as much) and then get to work on the Whitey Bulger film. This makes sense since it will allow some time to pass between Depp’s movie and this one.

    I’m just happy Affleck and Damon are still developing this. I was worried they’d call it off.

  3. When the Boston Globe heard Matt & Ben’s version was still on track they said, “Thank God!”

  4. Matt really does not age well !
    But yeah,Ben and Matts version of course !

  5. Yeah, I’ll join the rest and say I’d prefer to see Ben & Matt’s version.

  6. I’ll just flat-out say I don’t get why Depp is going ahead with the other film. Look at A&D’s experience AND capability as filmmakers, seems pointless to me. Apart from, I hope, Transcendence, Depp isn’t making that interesting career choices lately.

  7. I would definitely go with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s adaptation. Don’t get me wrong I love Johnny Depp. However, the whole mobster from Boston has Ben and Matt written all over it. Not just because they are both from there but the content of their past projects with themes of crime and deceit just fit for a great creation. Johnny is more fitting in a mystical dark themed movie.

  8. Ben and Matt’s project for sure. Depp is good in the Bazaar but for this The Boston boys all the way. I am also very excited to see ‘Live By Night’ and ‘The Stand’ and hope Ben will have them all working eventually with little lag time between his projects. of course he does need to give Jennifer some time to work as well!

  9. Ben and Matt hands down!! I think we could be in for a truly epic gangster masterpiece!

  10. Not a fan of Matt Damon’s acting choices. I much prefer Johnny Depp’s version of this film.

  11. No question about it – Matt and Ben’s. Depp shoud question his choice of roles done lately.

  12. Damon and Affleck would be my choice.

  13. MATT AND DAMON!!!! :D
    So cute how they remain friends and work partners through all this time.

  14. I like matt damon not ben affleck fan cant wait to see the whitley buglar biopic movie

  15. I think the A&D team sounds like they are putting together the better overall movie but (and this is completely my opinion not trying to start a war lol) Johnny Depp is the much better actor between him and Matt to me. Matt is never down right terrible by no means but he never did anything that really stood out to me. Yeah Depp has made some odd choices but when they pay off its amazing. Damon is like a prop he’s just kind of there.