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Ben Affleck in Live by Night

What is Ben Affleck going to direct next? We know it's not The Batman. He's not going to star in that either. But he does have a lot of irons in the fire on the writing and production front, and he's hoping at least one of them will be ready for him to direct at the end of this year. More than two years ago, he was announced to direct and star in an adaptation of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution. Here's what Affleck said when asked if that will be the next film he directs:

I don’t know that it’s going to be the next film. I have multiple stuff in development. I’m hoping to shoot something at the end of the year. I have a couple of different things that are all in various stages of script, and outline, and finished script. We’ll see which one comes together and who wants to make them.

It's not easy to get a movie made, even for someone with a solid record of success in the industry and two Oscars (Argo, Good Will Hunting). Collider asked Ben Affleck if the projects he has in development are all things he's written, or if he might direct something that he hasn't written. Here's what he had to say:

They’re all things I might direct, but there’s one that I just made a deal to do a rewrite on an existing script. There’s another one that’s a book that I’m trying to sell. There’s another one that’s not quite in script form, the writer’s working on it. It’s an outline, and it’s going to be turned into a script. They’re options, all of them, for me to try to direct. Part of it is it’s just so hard to get a movie made, and hard to find someone who wants to partner with you and really sees the movie the same way that it makes sense to have multiple irons in the fire.

The last feature Ben Affleck directed was Live by Night in 2016. It wasn't exactly the success of Gone Baby Gone or The Town, never mind his Oscar-winning Argo.

He's certainly kept busy on every other front, though. Right now he's promoting his role in the Netflix film Triple Frontier. He's also executive producing the TV series City on a Hill. We're also waiting to hear more about that true crime movie he's supposed to be directing, starring his buddy Matt Damon, following a rigged McDonald's Monopoly game.

On the acting and producing front, Ben Affleck will star in Torrance, which is set to come out this October, directed by Gavin O'Connor. O'Connor directed Affleck in The Accountant and supposedly they're still planning to make a sequel. Affleck also has a role in the political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted, directed by Dee Rees, which was picked up by Netflix for a release ... at some point.

We've seen how easily plans come together and fall apart when it comes to making movies. After all, Ben Affleck was supposed to direct, write, produce, and star in The Batman movie. He's said to still be on board as one of the producers, but he admitted he and his fellow screenwriter couldn't "crack" the script. Rather than just push forward with something subpar, he walked away. Now Matt Reeves has that project and seems to know what he wants to do with it.

When Ben Affleck is good, he's great. He may have had his confidence shaken a bit after Live by Night and the back-to-back critical bashing of Batman v Superman and Justice League (which he didn't direct, but still). He's also been dealing with things in his personal life. But I'm hoping the pieces come together for him with the right project, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he announces as his next directing project for the end of 2019.

In the meantime, keep up with everything headed to the big screen this year with our handy 2019 movie guide.

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