Affleck to Produce New Boston-Based Crime Drama
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 23:09
Aside from his upcoming role as Batman in 2015, Ben Affleck—writer, director, producer, actor, and recent recipient of an Academy Award for Best Picture for his movie Argo—announced on Friday that he has decided to add something else to his plate. He, along with Glenn Gordon Caron, has signed on with FOX to make a pilot for a new ’60s-era crime drama called The Middle Man, for which production will start in early 2014. Caron, who wrote and will co-executively produce the pilot with Affleck, is an Emmy award nominee for his work as the creator of Moonlighting and Medium.
For Affleck, this will mark a special moment in his career: his debut as a television director. He has had opportunities, however, to break onto the small screen in the past. Most notably, he was previously committed to direct the Showtime show Homeland, but had to drop out due to family commitments. At the Casting Society of America’s annual Artios Awards in November of last year, he joked about the popular program, “I was sure nothing would happen with the show. Now I hate the f—king show. I’m attaching myself to 14 pilots this year.”
Affleck’s new crime drama will take place in Boston, his native city, which has served as the setting for two of his previous movies: Gone Baby Gone and The Town. In fact, The Middle Man project actually originated in 2009 during the filming of The Town, on which Ben Affleck worked with Glenn Gordon Caron.
During production of the movie, he and Caron met writers Michael Yebba, (Ordinary Man) and Emilio Mauro (God Only Knows).
Yebba and Mauro had already begun to write the idea in 2008 as a feature film, and joined forces with Affleck and Caron to develop the idea as a television show. Yebba and Mauro will work on the pilot as both writers and producers. Mauro, also a Boston native, describes his feelings on the pilot: “I hate to call it a lottery ticket, but I don’t know—I was a little bit lucky that this all fell in the right place at the right time. It’s really crazy, sometimes it hasn’t even hit me yet.”
The pilot itself will follow the life of FBI agent Rudy MacAteer, who is responsible for taking down the Italian-American mafia, and his relations with his Irish-American gangster-turned-informant, Mickey Flood. As the two get more deeply involved in the world of the mob, MacAteer is forced to enter the gray area between legal and illegal in his dealings with Flood, and the interactions between the two eventually and inadvertently give rise to the Irish-American mob.
As far as the logistics for putting the show into motion, the team behind the show insists they have no leads yet on who will play which roles, but they have stated that they plan to begin casting immediately. Moreover they are maintaining that Affleck will stay out of the spotlight for this particular project. They are also not sure yet whether it will be possible to film in Boston, but they hope to make it happen.
The drama is set to be produced through Affleck’s Pearl Street Films production company with Chay Carter, who has worked with Affleck in the past on Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone, and will also co-executively produce with Affleck and Caron. Also coming up from Pearl Street Films is a project called “Whitey,” a biopic about the Boston mobster Whitey Bulger that will star Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Casey Affleck. The production company also has announced a project called Race to the South Pole, which will cover the competition between two explorers, Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott, to be the first to the South Pole, and will star Casey Affleck as Scott.