Ben Affleck is not only directing the movie version ofDennis Lehane’s latest bestselling crime mystery Live By Night, he is writing the adaptation himself (no partner), producing, and starring in the film. Affleck was recently spotted scouting for locations near Ybor City, Florida, where part of the historical story takes place.
Affleck was originally in talks to star opposite Kristen Stewart in the romantic conman movie Focus, but dropped out to tackle the Live By Night project.
Dennis Lehane is the Boston based writer fast becoming a literary and media darling. Lehane was called “A Master” by the Baltimore Sun and a “Literary Steinbeck” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Affleck’s gripping Gone Baby Gone, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, and Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River were all based on Lehane novels.
Live By Night is a follow up to the sprawling historical novel The Given Day, and uses some of the original characters. The Given Day is a Boston based historical novel set in the 1920’s Prohibition era, when sin was a cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue. The cruel patriarch and high-ranking police captain, Thomas Coughlin is still alive, but Live By Night focuses on one of the last members of his family, the black sheep son, Joe Coughlin.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Live By Night in 2012. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way will co-produce with Pearl Street, the Warner Bros. based company that Affleck shares with Matt Damon.
So far, Affleck is the only cast member, but with shooting scheduled to start in August, we should be informing you of new members soon.