Ben Affleck hasn't directed a film since 2016's Live by Night. A lot happened in the last four years for the actor turned director. After a rough personal time for him and a brief stint as the Dark Knight, Affleck seems ready to get back in the game behind the camera with it announced today he will both write and direct a big screen adaptation of Sam Wasson's novel The Big Goodbye which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making Roman Polanski’s 1974 film noir classic Chinatown.
The now famous film, which starred Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway and boasted an Oscar-winning script by Robert Towne, had just a fascinating story behind-the-scenes as it did on the screen, particularly how the film was part of an iconic streak of hits through deals made by producer Robert Evans, who ran Paramount’s production at the time and turning it from the ninth largest studio into a giant. Chinatown, a key success of Evans, serves as a major part of Wasson's novel, delving into the theme of how the 1970's filmmaker-friendly studios gave way to corporate Hollywood we know today. Some of this was covered from Evans perspective in the 2002 documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture, which was based on a book Evans wrote.
Affleck will produce alongside Lorne Michaels and the film will be set up at Paramount Pictures, where Chinatown was made. Stay tuned!