Jay Roach

For years, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been trying to make a movie about a ’70s sex scandal involving two Yankees pitchers. Development has been slow going, and the film has been threatened with a lawsuit by one of its real-life subjects. But now The Trade is finally moving forward again, under new director Jay Roach.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that while Affleck and Damon are still producing, they’re no longer starring as originally planned. Hit the jump for the latest updates on this salacious project.

According to Variety, Roach is currently in talks to helm the film for Warner Bros. The original script by David Mandel landed on the Black List in 2009. Ben Affleck and his brother Casey Affleck have since done a rewrite.

The Trade tells the story of Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, who announced at spring training in 1973 that they’d swapped wives. Kekich and Peterson’s ex Marilyn didn’t last long, but Peterson and Kekich’s ex Susan got married the following year. The film is described as being “in the vein of Shampoo or one of Sydney Pollack’s classics from the ’80s.”

Damon and Affleck have been attached to the project since 2010. Affleck was considering directing at one point, as was Damon. But Damon and Affleck’s busy schedules got in the way, and The Trade stalled. Nevertheless, they’ve remained determined to bring the story to the screen, and recently began an active search for a new director.

Roach is known for directing the HBO political dramas Game Change and Recount, as well as comedies like The Campaign, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and Meet the Parents. But he seems eager to branch out as of late. He’s also currently working on Trumbo, a biopic of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren.

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