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