It’s been nearly a year now since we reported that Ben Affleck’s next project as a director will be The Town, an adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves that’s being described as a romantic comedy slash crime thriller. I got no issues with Mr. Affleck behind the camera — Gone Baby Gone proved that he was a natural there. And although his acting star is on the rebound after a series of well-received roles in Hollywoodland, Smokin’ Aces and State of Play (he’s also in Mike Judge’s upcoming Extract), I still think that Affleck’s best when he’s off-screen.
Unfortunately, he’s also starring in The Town, and yesterday, both Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall signed on as the other two principals. The movie follows the relationship between a bank manager (Hall), the career criminal (Affleck) who stole more than her heart, and the dedicated FBI agent (Hamm) trying to bust the crook and his gang.
I like the Hamm casting — he’s the classy-man’s version of Affleck, anyway. I don’t, however, see Affleck as a career criminal type — didn’t he try that in Gigli with disastrous results and criminally awful high-Jersey hair? Rebecca Hall, likewise, is the embodiment of classy. So, maybe Mr. Affleck will come around to replacing himself with a better actor. Like his brother.
Filming on The Town will start next month (after Hamm wraps up “Mad Men”) in Boston.
And speaking of Affleck, has anyone ever seen his directorial debut, 1993’s comedy short, I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney. I’m going to need to track that down.