Ben Affleck (The Town) and Matt Damon (Contagion) are rumored to reunite for their first collaboration since their first feature film, Good Will Hunting. The duo are seeking to do a biopic on New England ganster Whitey Bulger, Boston’s most notorious ganster. The project is part of a new deal to revamp the team’s production company, LivePlanet, set up at Warner Bros. The film would have Affleck directing, producing and co-starring with Damon playing Bulger himself.
Though the two actors have appeared in several films together since GWH , this will be their first partnership since 1997. “Matt and I have been looking for something to do together for some time,” says Affleck. “We’ve heard about Whitey Bulger since we were kids and are excited by the prospect of putting it on screen.”
From the age of 14, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s life was almost completely consumed by crime. By 1979, he had become one of the most important figures in Boston’s organized crime scene. Over the next decade and a half, he controlled major portions of the drug trade, bookmaking and loan sharking, as well as being credited for at least 18 murders. During the same time, however, Whitey took advantage of his brother’s position in the State Senate and other law enforcement associates to bring down rival gang the Patriarca family by becoming an informant for the FBI. In 1995, Bulger’s FBI handler Special Agent John Connelly tipped him off to a imminent indictment which allowed him to flee from capture and remain a fugative for 16 years.
Affleck, having proved himself as a capable director with The Town and Gone, Baby Gone, should have no problem with this as of yet untitled crime drama. And if Damon finds this story a bit familiar, it’s because he’s already starred in a version of it in The Departed; Jack Nicholson’s character, Frank Costello, is loosely based on Whitey Bulger. Casey Affleck (Gone, Baby Gone) is also said to be appearing in a supporting role. With the long personal and professional history between the three, this just might be something to watch out for.
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