the tender bar movie

Ben Affleck is reuniting with his Argo producer George Clooney for an Amazon Studios drama. Affleck is set to star in The Tender Bar, an adaptation of the J.R. Moehringer memoir to be directed by Clooney. The stars have been trying to work together for years, and when Clooney landed The Tender Bar as his follow-up to the upcoming The Midnight Sky, Affleck was at the top of his list.

Deadline reports that Affleck is set to star in the Clooney-directed coming-of-age drama The Tender Bar, based on J.R. Moehringer’s memoir about growing up in Long Island looking for father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar. Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov are set to produce through their Smokehouse Pictures banner, alongside Ted Hope. William Monahan is writing the script.

The Tender Bar was originally set up at Sony with Ted Melfi attached to direct, but when Melfi exited the project, Sony put the film out to the market, allowing Amazon to jump on. Amazon Studios has had great critical success with its original films recently, and even some commercial success with the acquisition of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. They’re on a roll, as are both Clooney and Affleck — Clooney with his star-studded space drama for Netflix, The Midnight Sky, and Affleck earning some of the best praise of his career with the surprising solid sports drama The Way Back.

It’s not yet known whether Clooney will also appear in the film, but it’s a possible, given the star’s tendency to star in his past films.

Unfortunately, the reviews for Clooney’s The Midnight Sky have been decidedly mixed, but the filmmaker has had more hits than misses with his directorial career. Meanwhile, Affleck has more than proven himself an adept actor outside of films he’s directed, especially in movies like David Fincher’s Gone Girl and The Way Back, in which the actor gives a tender and achingly vulnerable performance as a recovering alcoholic — a role that offered more than a few parallels to his own personal struggles. I wonder if The Tender Bar may be a little too close to home for Affleck as well, considering its setting, but I trust that Clooney can get another great performance from him.

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