Ocean's Eleven's Matt Damon And Casey Affleck Are Teaming For A New Heist Movie On Apple

Matt Damon in Stillwater and Casey Affleck in Every Breath You Take
(Image credit: Focus Features/Vertical Entertainment)

Matt Damon goes way back with the Affleck family. With he and Ben Affleck having been close friends in high school, they first professionally collaborated on Good Will Hunting, which involved some crying. Then in 2001, Damon and Casey Affleck, Ben’s younger brother, first appeared onscreen together in Ocean’s Eleven, and both men would return for the following two sequels. Now it’s been announced that these two are re-teaming for a new heist movie, one which will be accessible to Apple TV+ subscribers.

Apple Original Films’ The Instigators will bring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck back together, with the movie following two thieves who are forced to go on the run with the help of one of their therapists after a robbery gone south. According to Deadline, Doug Liman will direct off a script written by Chuck MacLean, and Damon will produce alongside Ben Affleck through their new banner Artists Equity. Studio 8’s Jeff Robinov and John Graham, as well as The Walsh Company’s Kevin Walsh, are also attached as producers, with Roving and Graham having developed the project with Casey Affleck.

The Instigators is the latest project to join the Artists Equity slate, which, as Deadline put it, “partners with filmmakers to empower creative vision and broaden access to profit participation.” The first project on this particular docket is an untitled movie about the creation of the Air Jordan brand, which Matt Damon is starring in and Ben Affleck is directing. That movie is expected to be among the 2023 movie releases, so as far as The Instigators goes, we likely won’t see it until 2024 at the earliest. 

The Instigators also marks Matt Damon’s reunion with Doug Liman, who previously directed the actor in 2002’s The Bourne Identity. Along with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck respectively playing Linus Caldwell and Virgil Malloy in the first three Ocean’s movies (Matt Damon did reprise his character for the spinoff Ocean’s 8, but his scene was cut), the two men also worked together on 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, which Damon produced and the younger Affleck starred in, later winning the Academy Award for Best Actor. As for Damon and Ben Affleck, they were last seen together onscreen in 2021’s The Last Duel, but it remains to be seen if the latter will have a role in The Instigators.

Ahead of The Instigators’ eventual release from Apple, both Matt Damon and Casey Affleck will next be seen as part of the gigantic Oppenheimer ensemble cast Christopher Nolan assembled. Damon will play Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project, but Affleck’s character hasn’t been identified yet. Affleck also has a sci-fi movie on the way called Slingshot that co-stars Laurence Fishburne and Emily Beecham, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.