Ben Affleck is quickly becoming one of the busiest men in Hollywood, and seems to be gettin’ while the gettin’ is good. He is currently busy reprising his role as Batman for Zack Snyder in Justice League and has already signed on to direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros. Now it looks like he is going to be taking on yet another directing project not involving a superhero. This time, it will be an adaptation of the Agatha Christie story Witness for the Prosecution.
Deadline is reporting that 20th Century Fox is closing the deal with Ben Affleck, who will both direct and star in the movie. Witness for the Prosecution was originally written as a short story by Christie, and was adapted to the big screen in 1957 by Some Like It Hot director Billy Wilder. That version was received very well, having been nominated for Six Academy awards, including Best Picture. Here is a description of the original short story.
“When wealthy spinster Emily French is found murdered, suspicion falls on Leonard Vole, the man to whom she hastily bequeathed her riches before she died. Leonard assures the investigators that his wife, Romaine Heilger, can provide them with an alibi. However, when questioned, Romaine informs the police that Vole returned home late that night covered in blood. During the trial, Ms. French’s housekeeper, Janet, gives damning evidence against Vole, and, as Romaine’s cross-examination begins, her motives come under scrutiny from the courtroom. One question remains, will justice prevail?”
Affleck has a good relationship with 20th Century Fox, having starred in David Fincher’s Gone Girl for them a couple of years ago. He has yet to direct anything for the studio though, as his first movie Gone Baby Gone was done by Miramax, with The Town and Argo being done by Warner Bros. Live By Night, Affleck’s upcoming directorial effort, which he somehow managed to squeeze in after filming Batman V Superman and before Justice League, is eyeing a limited release in December for Oscar season and is also being done for Warner Bros. It looks like Fox is trying to get in on Affleck’s good name right now too, assuming the deal goes through.
This new adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution will be written by Christopher Keyser, who is most well known as a TV writer and producer on shows like Party of Five and FX’s Tyrant. Affleck will also be producing the movie, alongside his best friend and producing/writing partner Matt Damon, as well as Jennifer Todd and members of the Agatha Christie estate. There is no word yet on what part Affleck will be playing, but it seems likely that he would play the role that Charles Laughton played originally, being that Affleck tends to play the lead in his own movies. Save for Gone Baby Gone.
There was a handful of years in the mid 2000s where Ben Affleck wasn’t exactly in the best of spots. After movies like Daredevil, Gigli and Jersey Girl, he wasn’t being taken all that seriously. However, a few critically acclaimed hits behind the camera and a welcomed turn as the new Caped Crusader in the DC Extended Universe, and he is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. His Oscar win for Argo certainly didn’t hurt anything. He is definitely in-demand, and seems to be taking full advantage. Ben Affleck will next be seen starring in the Legendary Pictures thriller The Accountant.