Here, Affleck tackles similar territory with The Town — criminals and cops on the mean streets of Boston’s blue collar neighborhoods. He’s working with strong source material in Chuck Hogan’s Prince of Thieves. Here’s what we said about the story:
What could come off as pap turns into a somewhat cliche plotted yarn, but one that is a page turner nonetheless. Hogan layers his characters with baggage so severe you wonder if the weight of it will crash them into the abyss. Central to all this is Doug MacRay.
A former Townie hockey star, MacRay is running from the ghosts of his father, the expectations of an insulated city, the pressure to hold his crew together, the temptation to drink again and the desire to get out from under the only life he’s ever known.
It’s all heady stuff and Hogan pulls it off so convincingly; the final denouement, a daytime heist of Fenway Park and a classic shoot’em up that is as gripping and tragic as the rest of the novel is smarter and tenser than most of the fiction in this genre.
You almost can’t wait for the film version, which is supposedly in production this year and being directed by Adrien Lynne. We mentioned Ed Norton, but if we could suggest reuniting Matt Damon, The Affleck Brothers and possibly throwing in a Leo DiCaprio here in Oysterland we’d be much obliged.
That was back in 2008. We don’t get Ed Norton or Matt Damon, but we do get Affleck, Jon Hamm as FBI agent Adam Frawley (great casting choice), Jeremy Renner as the loose cannon Jem (another great choice) and also Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively and Chris Cooper. Great, no complaints with any of the cast at all.
And you know what? Affleck looks like he’s the real deal when it comes to filming Boston crime thrillers. Never in a millions years would I have guessed that when he was dating J-Lo and starring in Armageddon.