Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Re-Teaming For Historical Epic ‘Bunker Hill’
When a collaboration between creative types in Hollywood bears fruit, the studios often attempt to keep it together for as long as possible in order to extract all possible profit. Aaron Stockard and Ben Affleck first found success as the co-writers of Gone Baby Gone, a moody-broody, Affleck-directed neo-noir that cleared a trail through the untamed wilds of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. (Pronounced Dawh-chess-tuh, for the uninitiated.) Affleck and Stockard then migrated northward to Charlestown as co-writers of the stylish bank-robbery heist flick The Town, which Affleck directed as well. Both pictures met with positive critical receptions, a single Academy Award nomination for an outstanding supporting performer (Amy Ryan wowed in Gone Baby Gone as the panicked mother to an abducted youngster, and Jeremy Renner won raves as a violent townie gangster in The Town) and healthy box-office grosses. Putting these two together again, preferably for a story set in or around the Bay State, is a no-brainer.
And so today, Hollywood did just that: a new report from Deadline indicates that Warner Bros. has united Affleck and Stockard once again, with a little Matt Damon thrown into the mix for added Boston street cred. Matt and Ben, Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s proudest graduates, will step in as producers for Bunker Hill, with Stockard confirmed as scriptwriter and Affleck eyed to direct.
The film will adapt Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution about the battle that lit the fuse ultimately igniting the American powder keg and setting off the Revolutionary War. It was here that the storied instruction of “don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes” was first issued, for the history buffs out there. And while Affleck hasn’t taken on a period piece in this vein before — he passably recreated the ‘70s for Argo, but that’s a different kettle of fish than the colonial era — the man knows Boston. If he does indeed step in as director, it would be a nice expansion of his range as a director.