Ben Affleck is continuing his lifelong game of cops and robbers.
Vulture reports that Warner Bros. is so happy with the actor/director’s The Town (worldwide gross to date: $60 million. Production budget: approximately $37 million) that they’ve offered him another crime drama: Tales from the Gangster Squad.
Squad is based on a series of articles by Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman and adapted for screen by former South Central L.A. cop Will Beall. The story focuses on the L.A. Police Department’s off-the-books division of mercenary cops that chased gangster Micky Cohen during the 1940’s. Cohen was a criminal who got his start working for Al Capone in Chicago, but eventually worked his way up the ranks through different routes and found himself as a prominent gangster in L.A. He eventually went to prison in 1950 for four years for tax evasion (even though he probably murdered a buncha people).
Right now, there’s no word on casting or even if Affleck has accepted the offer. Rumor has it he’s considering directing Homeland, a Showtime pilot from 24 producer Howard Gordon about a former CIA operative that might star Affleck’s old buddy from Boston — Matt Damon, but if he’s going to work with his Good Will Hunting co-star again, my hope is that they’ll get his long-gestating Ness biopic into production.
With this news comes the reality that Affleck is the premiere director for crime-related material: not a bad thing considering that it’ll always give the talented filmmaker serious subject matter to work with. Personally, I’d like to see him cross the country and try out the Pacific Coast for once. Yeah, The Town is good. And yeah, Gone Baby Gone is good. But come on, Ben! There’s a whole world outside of Boston. Move outta Massachusetts.