He made his breakthrough performances back in 2007, not only starring opposite Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but also earning his Oscar nomination as the lead in Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone.
2010 saw him step behind the camera to direct long-time friend Joaquin Phoenix in their mockumentary-esque I’m Still Here, and now Deadline reports that Affleck is set to return behind the camera, directing his first dramatic feature, a biopic of baseball star Josh Hamilton.
Affleck will both write and direct, but not star, with Basil Iwanyk (The Town) producing under Thunder Road Pictures.
Hamilton, a thirty-one-year-old baseball star for the Texas Rangers, has had a life certainly suitable for the big screen biopic, with the project being likened to Barry Levinson’s Oscar-nominated The Natural, starring Robert Redford, one of the best known sports movies of all time.
“I truly think this guy’s story is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read,” Iwanyk said. “It’s also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of The Natural, the faith-based angle of The Blind Side, and faith is a major part of our story, and the romance of Walk the Line. Casey has totally captured those elements in his take for the movie. It is an extraordinary odyssey that took him from the depths of drug addiction, estrangement from his family, and suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and major league career.”
Iwanyk is based at Warner Bros., who will have first look at the project before Affleck and Iwanyk shop it around other studios. Given that Warner Bros. have distributed brother Ben’s The Town and his upcoming Argo (which looks immense – watch the latest trailer here), it seems like the studio would be a perfect fit for this project.
Casey Affleck has just finished wrapping Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, and Zoe Saldana, and is due to shoot Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara and Ben Foster next month. Keep your fingers crossed that this biopic will be next on his agenda, because it sounds brilliant. More as we get it.