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Ben Affleck Returns to Director’s Chair for The Town

Mad Men's Jon Hamm stars in The Town, directed by Ben Affleck Mad Men's Jon Hamm stars in The Town, directed by Ben Affleck
Mad Men's Jon Hamm stars in The Town, directed by Ben AffleckMad Men's Jon Hamm stars in The Town, directed by Ben AffleckBen Affleck has had his ups and downs as an actor. After appearances in Oscar winning films like Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare in Love early in his career, Affleck starred in a series of colossal flops in the early ‘00s. Worst among them were Paycheck, Surviving Christmas, and the infamous Gigli, which co-starred Jennifer Lopez. Affleck had gone from Academy Award winner to Razzie winner in a decade.

Then something interesting happened. In 2007, Affleck took to the director’s chair to helm his first feature, Gone Baby Gone, which starred his brother, Casey Affleck. The film was a critical and commercial success, but more importantly, it made Ben Affleck relevant again.

Next Affleck returned to this thespian roots, appearing as part of the ensemble cast of the smash hit He’s Just Not That Into You. Although, the film had a lukewarm critical reception, audiences flocked to it.

Now Affleck hopes to capitalize on his newfound momentum by starring and directing this Fall’s The Town, a crime thriller also starring Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.

Affleck also co-wrote the screenplay for The Town, which is based on Chuck Hogan’s novel, Prince of Thieves. Affleck’s track record as a writer is one of great success. He won an Oscar for the Good Will Hunting script, which he co-wrote with that film's star, Matt Damon. Affleck also co-wrote the Gone Baby Gone screenplay, another adaptation of a novel.

The Town tells the story of a bank robbing crew comprised of four men, including Affleck and Jeremy Renner, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor as the star of last year’s hit The Hurt Locker.

Following the heist, Affleck’s character falls in love with the bank manager the gang had taken hostage during the robbery. He must then maintain a precarious balance between his crew and himself as he tries to protect the woman, who is the only person who could finger the perpetrators, and dodge the FBI Agent on the gang’s trail.

The bank manager is played by emerging superstar Rebecca Hall, whose work in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, and Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon have quickly garnered her much acclaim.

The Town is generating a serious buzz in advance of its September release date. Of course, having critical darlings like Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, and Jon Hamm on board doesn’t hurt. But more importantly for Ben Affleck, it looks as if his career’s upward swing will continue. If he can continue to deliver high-quality movies, the sins of his past will soon be forgotten. Even Gigli.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 19:31

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