Director Gavin O'Connor's The Has-Been, starring Ben Affleck, is aiming to begin production this fall. The two previously collaborated on the 2016 crime drama The Accountant, which despite its lukewarm critical reception earned $155.1 million worldwide against a $44 million budget. A sequel to that film is currently in development, but before then, Affleck and O'Connor have their sights set on a different project.
Back in June, it was reported the two could reunite on the sports drama The Has-Been, which features Affleck as a former basketball star Jack Cunningham, who succumbs to substance abuse. As he looks to rebuild his life, Jack agrees to become his old high school's coach and tries to help their team get back on track. Warner Bros. (the studio behind The Accountant) was keen on fast-tracking the film if all the deals fell into place, and now it appears that has happened.
According to GWW, O'Connor will start rolling the cameras on The Has-Been in October, with Affleck in place as his star. O'Connor is drawing from a script by Brad Ingelsby, best known for Out of the Furnace. No other actors are attached at this time, though that should change soon with the film moving forward so quickly.
O'Connor made a name for himself helming well-received sports movies like Miracle and Warrior (the latter of which netted Nick Nolte an Oscar nomination), so he should be right in his wheelhouse here. There's definitely the potential for The Has-Been to become something truly special, delivering an emotionally powerful (and hopefully uplifting) story of a man overcoming tremendous adversity and making a difference. For Affleck, who has been to rehab multiple times in his life, this reads as a very interesting role choice and could allow him the opportunity to get semi-autobiographical. He's won Academy Awards for producing and writing, but he's demonstrated throughout his career he's very capable of delivering a strong performance. Affleck has worked well with O'Connor before, so they should be able to work their magic again.
While Affleck appears to remain involved in the DC Extended Universe (he's producing Matt Reeves' The Batman), he's also looking to diversify his portfolio a bit by taking on some non-comic book projects. In addition to The Has-Been, he's also been announced as the director for a film revolving around the bizarre McDonald's Monopoly theft and joined the cast of Dee Rees' Netflix film The Last Thing He Wanted. It's nice to see Affleck has found balance between tentpoles and smaller fare, and hopefully at least one of these films becomes a hit.
We'll keep you updated on The Has-Been as more information becomes available.