The Ben Affleck Rehabilitation Project is underway! And this time it’s not about substance abuse – it’s all about getting that career back on track. The first step was choosing decent films and not always insisting on being the lead, and it went well: Affleck got many kudos – and a Venice Film Festival award! – for playing doomed TV Superman George Reeves in Hollywoodland this year. In January he’ll be seen in Joe Carnahan’s rollicking shoot-em-up Smokin’ Aces, playing a role that I think will get him a lot of love.
Step two is ongoing, and it’s all about getting into directing. Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, is getting some nice buzz, but we won’t know for sure for a little while – the sunuvabitch doesn’t have a release date yet. Maybe Ain’t It Cool News will run some quite obviously studio planted test screening reviews in a couple of weeks.
Affleck’s next move in step two is an interesting one, according to rumors that Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons is reporting – he’s saying that Affleck is looking to direct a remake of Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, Play Misty for Me. Today a new Clint Eastwood movie has an Oscar nomination reserved for it during pre-production, but I wasn’t around in 1971 when Misty came out, and Eastwood was known mostly as a cowboy actor, so I don’t know what the reception was like. Were people incredulous?
Anyway, enough of my movie history ignorance. Play Misty for Me is about a DJ who is being stalked by a listener who loves loves loves the song Misty. The original is interesting, but I don’t find myself to be a major fan of it – to me it fits perfectly into the realm of movies that should be remade, ie ones that could stand to be improved.
Of course this may not be Affleck’s next film, but it does point to the idea that Ben if considering spending more time behind the camera. Could we be seeing a shift in his career?