Austin Powers' Jay Roach To Direct Ben Affleck And Matt Damon's New York Yankee Wife-Swapping Movie

Director Jay Roach is primarily known for his work in the comedy genre, having broken out with Austin Powers International Man of Mystery in 1997 and following it up with movies like the first two titles in the Meet The Parents trilogy, but he has had his chance to dabble a bit in drama. In the last decade he went to HBO twice to make the politically charged dramas Game Change and Recount, and while his return to the big screen was the Will Ferrell-Zach Galafianakis comedy The Campaign, apparently Roach is ready to bring his more dramatic game to the big screen. He is now attached to helm The Trade, a true story-based baseball film that is being guided by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and has been in the works since 2010.

Initially it looked like there was a possibility that Affleck and Damon could star in the movie, and then came rumors that one of them would direct, but now the Oscar-winning duo will simply work as producers on the movie, with Affleck also getting a co-writing credit. Set in the 1970s, the film will tell the story of New York Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich who caused a great deal of controversy when they admitted that they had participated in wife swapping. The Wrap has a very interesting description of the project's tone, describing it as "being in the vein of Hal Ashby's Shampoo and some of Sydney Pollack's films from the '70s and '80s." Basically, it seems like they are really going to play up the period piece angle.

The movie could very well be the second project produced by Damon and Affleck's Pearl Street Films, the first being Gus van Sant's 2012 drama Promised Land (which Damon also starred in). For a while it looked like Affleck's next directorial effort, Live By Night, would be the company's second feature, but the actor-cum-director's commitments to playing the Dark Knight in Zack Snyder's untitled Batman vs. Superman has pushed that movie to 2016. With Roach now in place for The Trade, that movie can really start to get rolling and possibly start production before the end of the year.

When The Trade was first announced it was exciting that the movie had the possibility of being the first reunion of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on the big screen in a long time, but with that option seemingly out the window Roach is left with an interesting puzzle to solve. Whoever he gets to play Peterson and Kekich will probably have to have pretty good chemistry together and be strong enough performers to carry the drama. If you were casting this movie, who would you want to see play the leads? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.