Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will team up for a film adaptation of the bizarre true story behind the McDonald's Monopoly theft. The two lifelong friends experienced their big break together when they co-wrote and starred in the 1997 drama Good Will Hunting. After winning Oscars for that movie, they have collaborated on a number of occasions, including lead roles in the film Dogma and producing numerous projects - several of which stemmed from their Project Greenlight. And while each has found great success individually, they've yet to see one of their joint efforts reach the same heights as Good Will Hunting.
They seemed poised to have a major hit on their hands when they began to develop a Whitey Bulger biopic (in which Affleck would direct Damon as the notorious Boston gangster). However, when Black Mass came through the pipeline at Warner Bros., Affleck's version never came into fruition. Now, the pair have their sights set on a different crime tale - one involving a certain fast food chain.
According to Deadline, 20th Century Fox has won a heated bidding war for a film based on a recent Daily Beast article detailing the exploits of ex-cop Jerry Jacobson, who stole approximately $24 million from the famous McDonald's Monopoly game by selling fake pieces. Affleck is in line to helm the project, while Damon will star. Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are set to pen the screenplay. Fox beat out the likes of Universal, WB, and Netflix to acquire the rights.
In his directorial career, Affleck has favored narratives in the crime genre, so he should be in his element here. The source article makes note of Jacobson's various co-conspirators, which included mobsters and drug traffickers (among many other unsavory types). The involvement of Reese & Wernick indicates this McDonald's film could lean on comedic elements more than some of Affleck's other outings, though it should be noted Argo (which, coincidentally, was also based off an article) had its fair share of levity to balance out the drama. A premise such as this (rigging a McDonald's game) seems like it should be viewed through a lighter lens, serving up an entertaining look at a crazy story. Considering the talent, there should be plenty of dark humor.
As Affleck weighs his future as Batman in the DC Extended Universe, he's circled a number of potential projects to direct over the past couple of years, including a new adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution and an Afghanistan war drama starring his brother, Casey. But since updates on those have been scarce, it looks like the McDonald's film is his top priority. It'll be interesting to when this moves forward, but given the heavy amount of interest, Fox will probably fast-track this. Once Damon is done filming James Mangold's Ford vs. Ferrari, it wouldn't be out of the question for him to jump to Monopoly. Hopefully, this'll be a rebound for Affleck, whose Live By Night was a costly bomb for WB.
We'll keep you updated on the McDonald's Monopoly movie as more information becomes available.