Ben Affleck Set To Direct The Middle Man Pilot For Fox
In the past decade, Ben Affleck has flipped from the dude who put together and starred in Gigli to a successful actor and director behind films like Argo and The Town. As if those weren’t enough to cement his status as one of Hollywood’s biggest acts, he’s now set to take on a side gig in the TV realm, directing and executive producing a high-profile drama project for Fox called The Middle Man.
Affleck seems like the type of Hollywood actor that would be pretty far removed from the TV realm. However, back in 2009, he and executive producer Chay Carter were working on the movie The Town when they met two writers named Michael Yebba and Emilio Mauro. The two screenwriters, along with Glenn Gordon Caron, introduced Affleck and Carter to the project. It took a few years, but on Friday, Fox announced they were officially interested in The Middle Man pilot. Caron will write and executive produce the project, while Yebba and Mauro will co-executive produce.
The Middle Man will unsurprisingly be set in Boston, an Affleck-favorite haunt. Oddly, it will be a period drama set in the 1960s, a period which has become a little trendy on television, thanks to Mad Men. The drama will tell a tale about a unique relationship between an FBI agent and an Irish-American gangster. The former, Rudy Macateer,is trying to take down an Italian-American gang and the latter, Mickey Flood, has been coerced into being a confidential informant. According to press release, as the two begin working together, their actions “inadvertently give rise to the Irish-American mob.”
Clearly, Affleck’s the big draw with the pilot, especially since he’s also signed on to direct, but it’s been put together by Pearl Street Films, which has a bunch of big projects in the works. One of these is Race to the South Pole, which Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming up to produce. Affleck’s next big theatrical flick, Live by Night, which is based on a Dennis Lehane book with the same title, is also in the works with the production company. Finally, another mobster story called Whitey is also on the company’s slate.
Fox is mostly known for its comedy lineup and reality competition programs like American Idol and The X Factor. The network has been working to bring some flair to its drama lineup, adding The Following last season, as well as Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human to this year’s fall lineup. It’s too early to tell whether or not The Middle Man will make it to series, but it certainly looks as if Fox is trending in a more dramatic direction. Fingers crossed this effort will wind up making the network's schedule and sticking long enough to tell a powerful and interesting story.
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