Saturday, September 27, 2008

CAREER REHAB: Ben Affleck's next three films

It was almost 11 years ago that Ben Affleck won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for co-writing Good Will Hunting, and a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Shakespeare in Love. After starring in Reindeer Games, Daredevil, Paycheck, Gigli, and Jersey Girl, he'd officially overstayed his welcome in Hollywood. It wasn't until last year that he managed to remind people why he won an Oscar in the first place. His critically-lauded crime drama Gone Baby Gone, which he wrote and directed, put his name back on the tip of everyone's tongues, and he's aiming to keep it there.

While it's true that he's already started choosing better parts, like 2006's mystery drama Hollywoodland, and even smaller parts, like the adrenaline-fueled Smokin' Aces, not many people have witnessed his return. Remembering that "slow and steady wins the race," he scored a part in the ensemble cast of the adapted romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You out this February. That little taste will gear people up for his major role in the dramatic thriller State of Play, where he stars alongside Rachel McAdams, Russell Crowe, Jason Bateman, and Helen Mirren. Then he'll officially remind people that he can bring the funny in Mike Judge's (Office Space) comedy Extract, alongside Bateman again, Mila Kunis, and Kristen Wiig ("SNL").

But he's not going to take a break from writing and directing for such a long stretch of time again. He's already sold another script called The Town. It'll be an adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel The Prince of Thieves, which is a dark rom-com about "a high-tension love triangle between a female bank manager, a longtime thief who stole more than her heart and an equally smitten FBI agent trying to bust the crook and his gang before they can pull another big job." While I'm not overjoyed by Affleck's return, I'm always up for a good story--and rebirths are my favorite kind.

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