According to Deadline, Ben Affleck will direct and star in a big-scale geopolitical thriller set in Africa for Warner Bros. He will also produce the movie along with Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd. While not much is known about it at this time, the plot reportedly revolves around a group of mercenaries hired to kill a ruthless warlord. Apparently Affleck and Warner Bros.’s intention is to make this film similar to Argo (presumably going with the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” mentality).
They have also hired Will Staples to write the script. Those of you wondering who this guy is, you are not alone. As it turns out, the guy’s biggest writing credit to date is for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. While I’m sure Call of Duty is a great video game, I have to admit I’m rather puzzled as to how this qualifies Staples to write a big-budget thriller (that would also presumably be released during awards season). It’s been difficult enough just finding a good video game movie without bringing video game writers into the mix.
I’m also skeptical about Affleck having the time to do make this (or at least anytime soon). He’s already starring in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, directing and starring in the period crime-drama Live By Night and of course there’s also his Batman duties that have already forced him to drop out of a couple of projects. Since he has already agreed to produce and would presumably still retain creative control, I won’t be too surprised if he ultimately decides to hand off directing duties to someone else.
Should a video game writer make a big-budget script? Do you think Ben Affleck’s schedule will interfere with production? Let us know in the comment section below.