Ben Affleck directing Live by Night

Following the Best Picture winning true drama Argo, the film’s star and director Ben Affleck lined up an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Prohibition-set crime drama Live by Night, and originally planned to shoot in the fall of 2013. However, his new gig as Batman for Warner Bros. Pictures (not to mention directing a solo Batman film for 2018) kept him from getting the project off the ground immediately and the project was pushed back to 2016.

Thankfully, it sounds like the project is finally happening as Warner Bros. has given the film a greenlight to finally begin production this fall, assuming nothing else ends up changing the plan again. Find out more about Ben Affleck directing Live by Night after the jump.

Variety reports Live by Night is currently planned to go into production in November with Affleck behind the camera and in front of it, not to mention writing the screenplay as well. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also producing the film through his Pearl Street production banner, with Leonardo DiCpario also producing through his Appian Way company.

The film has Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana still attached to star in the film with Affleck, and the rest of the cast will be solidified over the next four months, during which time Affleck will also polish the script to get ready to shoot. In case you didn’t know, Lehane also wrote the book that inspired Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone.

As of now it’s not clear if the film will still be able to meet the previously set October 7th, 2016 release date, but the timeline seems to fit if the film actually starts shooting on November.

For those just joining us, here’s an extended plot synopsis of Live by Night:

Boston, 1926. The ’20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one—neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover—can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.

We’ll keep you posted as Live by Night moves closer to production.

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