Ben Affleck is heading back to Boston, but this time he’s tackling American history. Deadline Hollywood reports that Warner Bros. has closed a big money deal for the rights to author Nathaniel Philbrick’s nonfiction book “Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution” as a property for Affleck to direct.
Philbrick is the author of “Mayflower,” and won the National Book Award for “In the Heart of the Sea,” an account of an ill-fated whaling voyage that inspired “Moby Dick.”
The Amazon synopsis of “Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution” is as follows:
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.
Affleck is currently adapting Dennis Lehane’s novel “Live by Night,” and “Argo” scribe Chris Terrio is expected to pen the screenplay for “Bunker Hill.” Terrio just copped an Oscar for “Argo,” so this is clearly a major project for the studio.
There are movies galore being adapted here, actually. Lehane also wrote “Gone Baby Gone,” which was adapted into Affleck’s directorial debut, “Mystic River,” which became a Clint Eastwood movie, and “Shutter Island,” adapted into a Martin Scorsese film. As for Philbrick, “In the Heart of the Sea” appears finally headed for the screen, with Ron Howard directing Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”).