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. Read More »


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With Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now the Oscar-nominated Argo, Ben Affleck the director has set a high bar for his career behind the camera. That means choosing a next project is crucial and several have crossed Affleck’s desk since Argo was released. It seems he’s now put them in order.

The actor was to star alongside Kristen Stewart in the film Focus, but recently pulled out of that film so he could commit all his time to preparing Live By Night as his next directorial project. The film, based a novel by Dennis Lehane, is about a young man during the Prohibition who falls deep into the world of organized crime. Affleck is writing, producing, will direct and star.

See Affleck’s reasoning for leaving Focus and focusing on Live By Night below.
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Author Dennis Lehane may not be a household name along the lines of John Grisham or Stephen King, but Hollywood’s found plenty to love in his novels as well. Adaptations of his books are three for thre when it comes to critical and commercial success — Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island were all based on his tales — so there’s reason to get excited when news breaks of another of Lehane’s works making it to the big screen.

The next of these could be Animal Rescue, which has just tapped Limitless helmer Neil Burger to direct. The crime drama adapts short story of Lehane’s that was published in the (Lehane-edited) anthology Boston Noir. More details after the jump.

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When you’re an actor as popular and talented as Leonardo DiCaprio, I imagine your office looks like a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The difference being, instead of delicious sweets, all the treats are the best scripts and properties in Hollywood and you can just pick and choose whatever you want. Work with Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood, Baz Luhrman and Quentin Tarantino all in succession and then have a bevy of high-end projects to choose from next such as The Wolf of Wall Street (which he’ll shoot in August), The Devil in the White City and Satori, just to name a few. Not to mention he runs the company that’s developing Akira, The Twilight Zone and more.

One more property can now be added to the Leo list and, like the others, it comes with a staggering pedagree. Warner Bros. has acquried the rights to author Dennis Lehane‘s next novel, Live By Night, to star DiCaprio and be produced by his Appian Way Productions. Lehane is the author behind Oscar bait like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. Read more about the property below. Read More »


Dennis Lehane is an author known for his Boston-based mystery novels, three of which have already been adapted to the big screen. Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River was award-nominated but underrated, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone was one of the best movies of 2008, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island hits theaters next week (I saw it at Butnumathon and very much enjoyed it, but not as much as the other two film adaptations). Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to one of Lehane’s short films, and have hired the mystery novelist to pen the screenplay adaptation. The story, which is titled Animal Rescue, is not the Marly and Me-like popcorn tale you might be expecting from the title.

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shutter island poster

RopeofSilicon have gotten their hands on an early teaser poster for Martin Scorsese‘s adaptation of Dennis Lehane‘s novel Shutter Island, which was published in a Berliner Zeitung newspaper. I’m pretty sure, and hope, that this is just an early marketing concept.

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Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese\'s Ashecliffe

The Boston Herald has a first look at Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese‘s Ashecliffe. The big screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane‘s 2003 novel Shutter Island, which tells the story of a U.S. Marshal (DiCaprio) who travels to Shutter Island, a small island in Massachusetts’ Outer Harbor, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to find an escaped murderous patient in the Summer of 1954. The above photo shows DiCaprio running around with a rifle behind an electrified fence near the lighthouse on Nahant’s East Point.

The Given Day BookSam Raimi has signed on to develop and direct a big screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day for Columbia Pictures. Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, Dennis Lehane’s long awaited eighth novel tells the story of two families – one black and one white – swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists; immigrants and ward bosses; Brahmins and “ordinary” citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power.

Beat cop Danny Coughlin, Boston Police department royalty and son of one of the city’s most beloved and powerful police captains, joins a burgeoning union movement and the hunt for violent radicals. Luther Laurence, on the run after a deadly confrontation with a crime boss in Tulsa, works for the Coughlin family, and tries desperately to find his way home to his pregnant wife.

Featuring the most influential figures of the day – Babe Ruth; Eugene O’Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s ruthless, red chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious, young Justice Department lawyer named John E. Hoover.

Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time – including the Spanish Influenza epidemic and culminating in the Boston Polce strike of 1919 – The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and the thrall of, itself. As Danny Luther, and others around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another, and together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change their lives.

Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels calls the new book “Rollicking, brawling, gritty, political, and always completely absorbing,” … “a rich and satisfying epic.” The Given Day will be published on September 23rd by HarperCollins.

Dennis Lehane adaptations have attracted A-list talent, and have lead to two Academy Award wins and five nominations. Clint Eastwood directed Mystic River in 2003, and Ben Affleck made his directing debut with Gone Baby Gone in 2007. Martin Scorsese is nearing the end of production on Shutter Island, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams.

source: Variety

Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo Join Shutter Island

Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo have joined the cast of Martin Scorsese‘s Shutter Island. Based on the Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone) novel, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who travels to Shutter Island, a small island in Massachusetts’ Outer Harbor, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to find an escaped murderous patient in the Summer of 1954. Ruffalo will play DiCaprio’s partner U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule. And I’ll let the official plot description take over:

“But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. And neither is Teddy Daniels. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island. Because someone is trying to drive them insane. . .”

Kingsley will portray the mental hospital’s chief physician. Ruffalo joined the cast last week, but for some reason or another, we never got around to reporting it. Laeta Kalogridis’ (Alexander, Pathfinder, James Cameron’s Battle Angel) screenplay was finished before the writers strike began, and Scorsese hopes to start production in March in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nova Scotia.

source: Variety