Last we reported on Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Live By Night, it had slipped down the actor-director’s pecking order as he focused attention on donning the cape and cowl for Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. But with a November start date fast-approaching, Affleck is ready to assemble his cast and crew for the crime drama, itself an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s (Shutter Island) eponymous novel.
The latest star to enter talks to board the thriller is The Mindy Project and The Newsroom alum, Chris Messina, who could reunite with his Argo co-star should this deal pan out. Rather than a tense hostage situation, Live By Night would have Messina step into the role of Affleck’s literal partner in crime. Then again, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana are all still circling the gestating project, which has suffered setbacks due to Affleck’s busy schedule with Gone Girl, and now that aforementioned superhero tentpole.
As for the sprawling novel itself, Lehane’s Prohibition-era drama orbits around Joe Coughlin, the disillusioned son of a police family who finds himself in deep with the sharks after becoming involved in organized crime.
Directing, starring and also producing the film under his Pearl Street banner with Jennifer Todd, Live By Night has become somewhat of a passion project for Affleck in these last few years. Should the Messina casting fall into place, we imagine that the big-screen adaptation will begin to get the wheels in motion now that Dawn of Justice is beginning to wind down ahead of its March release.
Live By Night is set to open on October 7, 2016. At the time of going to press, Affleck’s latest directorial effort is primed to get filming underway in November – though the project has to start nailing down its stars before the cameras can get rolling.