Ben Affleck is ready to move behind the camera. The actor, who has publicly struggled with alcoholism in recent years, is set to direct a documentary about the making of the classic film-noir Chinatown. Affleck will adapt the book by Sam Wasson, The Big Goodbye, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the 1974 film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was directed by Roman Polanski, following the murder of his wife Sharon Tate by the Manson Family, but before he became a fugitive from justice following a rape charge.
The book, released earlier this year is described as “the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colourful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted.”
It continues: “Here is the fevered dealmaking of ‘The Kid’ Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne‘s fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.”
Affleck will write the script in addition to directing it, and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels will produce. This will be Affleck’s first job behind the camera since 2016’s Live by Night. He can next be seen in the New Regency thriller Deep Water, and is coming off high critical acclaim and PVOD numbers for sports drama The Way Back.