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Ben Affleck To Direct Disney Movie Keeper Of The Lost Cities


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Ben Affleck will reportedly direct an adaptation of Keeper of the Lost Cities for Disney. Though he’s primarily known as an actor, Affleck actually received his first acclaim for work behind the camera when he and Matt Damon won an Oscar for penning the 1997 drama Good Will Hunting.

Following the success of his and Damon’s Oscar-winning movie, Affleck settled into a groove as a leading man in films like Michael Bay’s Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, the Jack Ryan thriller The Sum of All Fears and many others (with a few big bombs like the notorious Gigli interspersed throughout). Then in 2007 he kicked off a successful run as a director, writing and helming the drama Gone Baby Gone, followed by the heist film The Town and the period drama Argo, which snagged an Academy Award for Best Picture. But Affleck’s next directorial effort, the 2016 gangster film Live By Night, was a major disappointment at the box office and with critics. At least according to rumor, the failure of Live By Night actually played a part in Affleck losing out on the chance to direct himself as Batman in a future DCEU movie.

Now Affleck reportedly will jump ship from DC studio Warner Bros. to the home of Marvel by directing the Disney movie Keeper of the Lost Cities (via Deadline). Affleck will also write the script adaptation along with Kate Gritmon, whose biggest credit to date is serving as an assistant on Game of Thrones. That Affleck has now signed on to direct a movie for Disney is actually quite amusing, as he once directed a short film called I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three Picture Deal at Disney (thankfully he did not have to commit the first two acts in order to achieve his Disney deal).

 

The book series upon which Affleck’s new Disney film is based was penned by Shannon Messenger beginning with 2012’s Keeper of the Lost Cities and continuing until 2020’s Unlocked. The story follows a 12-year-old girl named Sophie Foster who has the ability to read minds, and discovers that she’s actually from a parallel universe.

Given that Keeper of the Lost Cities can roughly be categorized as YA fiction, it’s perhaps strange to see Affleck signing on to direct the movie adaptation. Affleck’s directorial efforts thus far have all been decidedly adult fare and all roughly in the drama/thriller area, with nothing at all in the fantasy arena. Indeed, even as an actor Affleck has largely avoided doing anything that could be categorized as fantasy, outside of his superhero forays as Batman and Daredevil.

Considering that Keeper of the Lost Cities revolves around a female antagonist, Affleck’s hiring as co-writer and director is arguably even more unlikely. However, Affleck does have the glow of an Oscar winner as both writer and producer, and it seems Disney is banking on him to regain the touch he showed with Argo but seemed to lose with his disastrous Live By Night. If Affleck shows some directorial versatility by pulling off Keeper of the Lost Cities, perhaps directing a Batman movie will again be on the table for the Caped Crusader actor (who will of course don the cowl one more time in The Flash).

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