'Falling To Earth' Movie Will Find Ben Affleck Going Up Against A Tornado

Having put his crime-fighting days behind him by vacating the role of Batman, Ben Affleck's new big enemy is mother nature. The actor will have to face down a tornado in a Falling to Earth movie adapted from the novel of the same name. The story concerns a man who becomes shunned by his community after being the only local spared the destruction of a deadly tornado.

THR broke the news about Ben Affleck joining the Falling to Earth movie. Hillary Seitz is adapting Kate Southwood's novel, which "is set in the small town of Marah, Illinois, starting with a day, March 18, 1925, that begins like any other. It doesn't end like the rest, however, due to sudden tragedy when Marah is hit by the worst tornado in U.S. history, leaving the entire community leveled. Hundreds are dead, injured or homeless and all structures and homes are destroyed with one exception — Paul Graves and his family — who end the day with everything they had at the beginning, their home, business, and children....The story then follows the Graves family in the days and months that follow as they come to terms with their fate and the stark contrast of their neighbors." The book's jacket adds that "as the town begins to recover, the family miscalculates the growing resentment and hostility around them with tragic results." So all in all, this sounds like a very pleasant, cheerful film.

The Tri-State Tornado at the center of this film really did happen, killing 695 people, causing 2,027 injuries, and resulting in $1.6 billion worth of damages. Affleck is playing Paul Graves, and there's a possibility that he might direct the movie as well – although for now he's just confirmed to star. There's plenty of potential here for a fascinating exploration of people at their worst, and I think Affleck can be a strong actor when he's given the right material to work with. Hopefully, that will be the case here. Next up for the actor is The Way Back, which is due out in 2020. He's also in this month's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

Screenwriter Hillary Seitz's credits include Christopher Nolan's remake of Insomnia and the somewhat forgotten Shia LaBeouf action film Eagle Eye. She's also writing the film adaptation of the best selling novel The Woman in Cabin 10.