Casey Affleck is one of the great American actors of his generation, yet he is still a performer that everyone seems to underestimate. He has made a career of compelling lead turns in films like Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and is also a reliable character actor. Last year, he was the biggest scene-stealer of the lacklustre Out of the Furnace, while almost nobody saw him in the evocative western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which he was terrific in as well. Now, the actor who has certainly outgrown being referred to as a certain someone’s brother, has signed on to another period western, Lewis and Clark, which will be a six-hour miniseries for HBO.
The project has been gestating for a while, but with Affleck now on board, we expect it to push forward full speed ahead. Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Brad Pitt will produce the historical drama, while John Curran (Tracks) is slated to direct from a script he co-wrote with executive producers Edward Norton and Michelle Ashford.
For the uninformed, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark travelled west on an order from President Jefferson, hoping to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. Their two-and-a-half year expedition along the Missouri River began in May 1804. They were called upon to map the sprawling territory to the western United States, while staking a claim to regions close to the Pacific. During their journey, they also contacted many Native tribes west of the Mississippi.
The miniseries is adapted from the book Undaunted Courage, from author Stephen Ambrose, who also wrote the source material behind another successful HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers. The cable network has provided some fine looks at American history in the past, including the aforementioned Brothers and John Adams, and Lewis and Clark has the potential to be another riveting period piece for them.
Tell us, are you excited to see Casey Affleck joining Lewis and Clark? Or would you rather see him stick to big screen projects? Sound off below!