Ben Affleck Is Out For Blood In His New Gangster Flick Live By Night

The first trailer reminds us that Affleck is much more than just the latest Batman.

Before he was Gotham City’s complicated caped crusader, Ben Affleck was an accomplished actor and director. Remember the Academy Award winning Argo? Well, Affleck is putting Batman on hold to return back to where he belongs: the director’s chair. Affleck is not letting his notorious Best Director snub hinder his quest for blood in the new trailer for his fourth directorial effort, Live By Night. And, based on this trailer Warner Brothers released this week, the film is sure to be full of nonstop stop action.

The trailer has an air reminiscent of a previous Affleck film The Town and brings him back to his gritty Boston mob scene roots, only this time, the film is set in the Prohibition era. Affleck plays son of police superintendent, Joe Coughlin, who comes home from serving in World War 1 only to abandon his father’s way of life in Boston in favor for a life of crime in Florida. The 1920’s setting offers a gorgeous juxtaposition of dazzling costumes (designed by costuming legend Jacqueline West) and sets with haunting violence.

There are some really amazing shots in this trailer, thanks to cinematographer Robert Richardson, Quentin Tarantino’s go-to cinematographer. There is a brief moment featuring Elle Fanning’s character that stood out to me. She is standing on some sort of stage, against a bright blue background looking like a broken angel in a white dress with her arms outstretched and full of track marks while her voice is heard saying “repent, repent, repent.” It is an image so fascinating and interesting that I cannot help but wonder about the story behind her character and get excited about the possibilities with this movie.

After starring in some of the worst movies released in my lifetime, Affleck started revolutionizing his career by shifting behind the camera and into the role of director. He surprised everyone with first directorial endeavor, Gone Baby Gone back in 2007. There was a raw talent there that, if given the opportunity, could grow into something really special. His next two films, The Town (2010) and Argo (2012), really cemented his status as a director to watch and a respected actor. He began starring in auteur driven films, such as the Terrance Malick helmed To the Wonder (2012) and David Fincher’s Gone Girl. While his turn as Batman (or, as many affectionately refer to him as “Batfleck”) has been met with mixed reviews, most people can agree that he is trying his best.

The film is adapted from a Dennis Lehane novel of the same name and features an all-star supporting cast of Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Cooper, Anthony Michael Hall, Sienna Miller, and Brendan Gleeson. Watch the trailer below for a first look at Live By Night and be on lookout for it to roar into theaters on January 23rd.