Ben Affleck May Direct The Pilot Episode For 'Homeland'

Actor/director Ben Affleck is circling to direct the pilot for 'Homeland,' a new potential Showtime TV series from '24' showrunner Howard Gordon.

Ben Affleck's cops & robbers drama, The Town was a critical and financial hit this past weekend and now the Oscar-winner may have found his next directorial effort - the pilot episode for Homeland.

Homeland is the tentative title of a new TV series from 24 co-executive producer/showrunner, Howard Gordon.  Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins is on the verge of greenlighting the pilot, which Affleck reportedly became interested in helming after he read the script - which itself was penned by Gordon and his fellow 24 executive producer, Alex Gansa.

The show will revolve around an American solider who went missing during the 2003 invasion of Baghdad.  He is eventually rescued from an Al-Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, having (presumably) been held prisoner for some 10 years.  Although the soldier is given a hero's welcome when he returns home to his family in the U.S., a female C.I.A. agent receives word from an informant that he is actually a key player in a new terrorist plan to launch an attack on the American homeland.

The Homeland plot has shades of the 2004 remake The Manchurian Candidate - which also involved (literally) brainwashed soldiers who returned from Iraq to wreak havoc on U.S. soil.  24 was a show with significant political overtones, though it mostly combined thriller elements with personal drama.  Homeland sounds like it will be similar in design.

Jack Bauer in 24 season and series finale
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on '24.'

Affleck demonstrated with The Town that he is a director that can handle both high-octane action set pieces and character development - a perfect match for material like Homeland.  The former Daredevil actor is once again an in-demand talent and will undoubtedly be approached to helm other projects, so availability looks to be the only possible concern for Affleck at this point.

It seems likely that Homeland will be officially greenlit soon, so Showtime viewers can look forward to a show that will be a change of pace from the channel's other series like Weeds and even the serial killer drama Dexter.  Those who wondered what 24 would have been like had it aired on cable television - you may soon have your answer.

We will keep you updated on the development of Homeland as more information comes our way.

Source: Deadline

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