Real life friends and co-owners of an Academy Award, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have worked together multiple times over their storied careers. These two haven't worked on something together in some time, but given their respective talents in front of and behind the camera, any collaboration is worth paying attention to when announced. Now the duo are teaming up again, and this time Ben Affleck will be directing Matt Damon in a true crime story about a rigged McDonald's Monopoly game, which will be adapted for the screen by Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Studios were lining up like kids trying to score a rare Happy Meal toy to snag this hot ticket property. Fox ultimately secured the rights to the project that was the subject of an intense bidding war, according to Deadline. Matt Damon will star in the film with Ben Affleck attached to direct, and when you hear the story, you can see why it was so in demand and so ripe for cinematic adaptation. Deadpool and Zombieland scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese will adapt a story that appeared in The Daily Beast just a few days ago, titled How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald's Monopoly Game and Stole Millions by Jeff Maysh.
Jeff Maysh's article tells the stranger than fiction true story of Jerome Jacobson, a former police officer known as "Uncle Jerry" that worked for the marketing company that printed the McDonald's Monopoly game pieces. Eventually that temptation became overwhelming and Jacobson wound up as the head of a criminal conspiracy that had fraudulently claimed $24 million in cash and prizes from the popular game. Jacobson's access allowed him to deliver winning game pieces to his co-conspirators in exchange for a portion of the winnings. The sprawling tale seemingly checks off every criminal underworld box and a few unlikely ones, as the conspiracy involved strip-club owners, convicts, mobsters, drug traffickers, psychics and a family of Mormons. There's a lot more to this story that is full of craziness and serendipity. You can read the whole thing at The Daily Beast.
Ben Affleck has proven his directorial chops numerous times and has already done crime dramas, but this sounds like it will be a little different than what he has done before. It wasn't stated what tone this as-yet-untitled movie will be going for, but with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick on scripting duties, I can already imagine what a blast this will be. The story is obviously about crime, but the nature of it should suit it to having a darkly comedic tone. Matt Damon as the ex-cop at the center of the conspiracy who was both criminal and philanthropist (he gave a winning piece to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) is also great casting, and it will be cool to see Damon and Affleck working together as an actor and director duo.
No release date has been given for this movie at this time, but we'll keep you updated. Matt Damon will next star as Carroll Shelby in Ford v. Ferrari for director James Mangold, and Ben Affleck's next directorial effort is the Agatha Christie adaptation Witness for the Prosecution. For all of the biggest movies heading to theaters this year, check out our release schedule.