Ben Affleck’s latest effort as a director, Argo, saw the burgeoning filmmaker stepping a bit out of his wheelhouse and making a period piece set in 70s Los Angeles and Iran instead of making another one of the contemporary, Boston-set crime films that had brought him to the dance. Seeing as he was rewarded for his efforts with a Best Picture win at this year’s Oscar ceremony, it’s not surprising to see him once again looking at projects that are a little bit different from the style of film everyone assumed he was on his way to becoming known for.
Deadline reports that the latest project he’s looking at is an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s upcoming novel, “Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution.” According to the trade, Warner Bros just closed a high six figure deal to get the film rights to the book, which are being given to Affleck and Matt Damon’s Pearl Street Films and are intended to be used as a directing vehicle for Affleck. Early word has the director bringing back his Argo scribe, Chris Terrio, to pen the adaptation.
While Bunker Hill would be taking Affleck back to his hometown roots of Boston, it would also see him expanding his experience as a maker of period films, as the story is set two hundred years before the feathered hairdos and mutton chops of Argo, in 1775—and it’s something of a war movie to boot. Amazon’s description of Philbrick’s novel states:
“Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.”
It sounds like Bunker Hill is the sort of project that’s really going to tap into the blind drunkenness and brutish aggression that makes Boston special. And, seeing as Philbrick’s novel features a cast of characters that includes rabble-rouser Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, the poet Mercy Scollay, General Thomas Gage, General William Howe, and George Friggin’ Washington, chances are it’s going to give Affleck plenty of chances to call up all of his famous friends and put together the sort of ensemble cast that audiences and distributors of little golden statues love come awards season. These are exciting times to be alive. Not 1775 exciting, but exciting nonetheless.