Argo set photo - Ben Affleck

It’s been six months since we heard that Ben Affleck‘s follow-up to Argo would likely mark the filmmaker’s return to Boston, as he targeted Dennis Lehane‘s novel Live By Night. Now there’s an actual timetable for the film that Affleck will write, direct, and star in. Appian Way will produce with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s company Pearl Street. It’s Affleck’s second turn with Lehane, who also wrote the book that became Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.

Deadline reports that pre-production starts today. While Affleck is the only cast member at this point, things will likely pick up steam in a month or two as the film jogs towards a production start in August or September. The novel follows a police captains son, who becomes deeply involved in organized crime. The trick is that it’s a period piece, with the novel kicking off in the mid-’20s, and traveling eventually from Boston to Florida and Cuba.

Read a long synopsis of the book below.

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.

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