Every now and again you find that rare person who can jump easily back and forth between the world of acting and directing. This is no easy feat; for every Clint Eastwood or Robert Redford it seems as if there’s a million and one William Shatner’s (sorry Bill, but Star Trek V just didn’t cut the mustard) or Nicolas Cage’s (2003’s Sonny) just waiting in the wings to prove exactly why not all actors were meant to steer the course on a major motion picture. Which is why it was a cause of celebration in my household when superlative thespian Ben Affleck proved to be one of those rare talents that actually had as much to say behind the camera as he did in front of it: Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo were clearly films from an auteur with something he needed to say and the box office and the critics, for a change, actually agreed with me. Oh, did I forget to mention that Affleck also has a knack for turning a phrase into Oscar gold? His writing efforts alongside fellow actor Matt Damon are also well known and documented. All of the above is why this latest bit of news from The Hollywood Reporter was a welcome bastion of relief for this Affleck fan…
Keeper of the Lost Cities – a Disney adaptation of the popular children’s fantasy series from author Shannon Messenger – has found its director in Ben Affleck. Affleck will not only direct the upcoming feature film, but he will also serve as co-writer on the script alongside Kate Gritmon. Gritmon is joining Affleck on this adaptation after serving as a respected production assistant on such projects as Game of Thrones and The Next Three Days.
The plot of Keeper of the Lost Cities sounds like pure catnip for Hollywood box office: A 12 year old telepathic girl by the name of Sophie discovers that she is not quite human and that she in fact hails from a land that exists parallel to our own. The series of books the new film is based off of is popular enough to have warranted no less than eight entries, with a ninth one forthcoming.
The news of Ben Affleck tackling this potential blockbuster caps a tremendously busy block of time for the in-demand actor/director/writer: Oscar buzz is there for his early 2020 work in the film The Way Back and he recently snagged the coveted directing gig for an upcoming film about the making of the classic film Chinatown.
More news on Keeper of the Lost Cities as it becomes available to us.