15 years ago, no one would have believed that a Ben Affleck movie was something about which to get excited. In the early Aughts, a combination of tabloid overexposure, some missteps in finding his own career path, and saying yes to altogether too many Kevin Smith movies led to a pretty dark period for The ‘Ffleck post Good Will Hunting.
But I’ll be goddamned if he didn’t turn that ship around. He literally took the reins in 2007 and delivered Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo, reasserting himself as both a smart, talented director and as someone with whom not to fuck. He used his celebrity to champion humanitarian causes. Then he delivered such a great starring turn in Fincher’s Gone Girl that all was forgiven. Bennifer, Daredevil, that one really bad season of Project: Greenlight – we’re all good, Ben. Fuck it, put on the Batsuit. We’re on board with whatever you wanna do, boo. You've earned it.
Yes, these days Ben is driving the Affleck Bus, and today comes the news (via Variety) that he’s pulling it up to Billy Wilder remake station, as he enters talks with Fox to write, direct, and star in an update of Wilder's 1957 classic Witness For The Prosecution. That film, based on an Agatha Christie story, garnered a pile of Oscar nominations and is about a lawyer (Charles Laughton) defending a man (Tyrone Power) accused of murdering a rich old widow after she puts him in her will. The film hinges on whether the lawyer believes his client's innocence – real twisty-turny Primal Fear/Jagged Edge* type stuff, and if you haven’t seen the film by now, we might as well not spoil it here.
As Affleck hits those gravitas-havin’ mid 40s, he could just as easily play the lawyer as the accused, so guess away in the comments. It’s likewise unsure if Witness For The Prosecution is happening before or after Affleck’s starring/directing gig in the upcoming The Bat-Man (a retro title I made up just now), but whenever it gets here, color us excited for an Affleck-helmed courtroom thriller.
*I'm actually amazed no one has shown up to remake Jagged Edge yet. (Please don't remake Jagged Edge.)