Dateline, Hollywood: Kevin Costner set to play a salt-of-the-earth character, Tommy Lee Jones a man of principles, and Ben Affleck a hotshot. Soak in those new character explorations for each of these big stars for a second while you learn that the three are going to be starring in The Company Men, the latest from writer / director John Wells. Variety reports this bit of news that Jones and Costner have been added to the project, to which Affleck was attached already.
Company Men is a timely story that deals with corporate downsizing and how it affects both sides of the issue: casualties and survivors. Affleck plays a corporate hotshot whose Porsche
and six-figure salary vanish after he gets laid off. Costner plays his
brother-in-law, a salt-of-the-earth drywall installer who gives him a
construction job. Jones plays a senior partner in the firm, a principled man who struggles with the greedy actions of his partners. Wells will also be producing and the project is due to begin filming in April.
Costner seems to still be riding his decade-long wave of middle-of-the-road in appeal films, with his only big recent successes, either critically or commercially being 2003’s Open Range and 2005’s The Upside of Anger. Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones has been on more of a critical upswing since 2005’s Man of the House with such films as The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, A Prairie Home Companion, In The Valley of Elah and some little-seen project called No Country For Old Men. For Affleck, who resurrected his post-Bennifer doldrums by directing Gone Baby Gone, this could be a step back if his character is going to echo such portrayals as Buddy Amaral, Gavin Benek and Ollie Trinke. So we’ll have to wait and see.