Ben Affleck has long had a number of directorial projects to choose from, and that was before his Argo took home the Oscar for Best Picture. Already with an adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, an American remake of French thriller Tell No One, a Whitey Bulger biopic, and an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Live By Night, Affleck is now adding another promising picture to his busy slate.
Warner Bros. just paid a hefty sum to secure the film rights to Nathaniel Philbrick's upcoming novel, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution as a directing vehicle for Affleck. Argo scribe Chris Terrio is already attached to adapt the script, which is set in 1775 Boston and centers on the famous Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War. Here's the official synopsis....
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.
Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a thirty-three year old physician named Joseph Warren who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill. Others in the cast include Paul Revere, Warren’s fiancé the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his more bellicose successor William Howe, who leads the three charges at Bunker Hill and presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control.
With passion and insight, Philbrick reconstructs the revolutionary landscape—geographic and ideological—in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, blisteringly real origins of America.
Boston is obviously an area Affleck knows well, and the historical/political relevance has to have Warner Bros. thinking of this as a future awards contender. Affleck is currently adapting Live By Night as his next feature in front of and behind the camera, so this may come after that is completed. Then again with so many options available, some of which are very high-profile, it'll be interesting to see what direction Affleck goes in.