Affleck to direct a Big film?
I don't apologise for that title for the premise of this story is just the same as Big, as all those body swap films we've seen time and time again through the years, and there's a bit of that recent television show where the woman goes back in time to fix her life, yes that's what Replay sounds like.
Replay is a film project that's been around since the 1989 book was adapted for a screenplay but never really gone anywhere. Now there's a rumour that Ben Affleck might be interested in directing it.
I was just on the phone to someone yesterday talking about Ben Affleck's career and how he could so easily turn out to be a huge name in directing with a trail of strong films behind him. Looking at Gone Baby Gone and The Town (Filmstalker review) it's easy to see his career in twenty years time being compared to some of the great thriller directors out there right now. However I fear this might just blow that conversation out of the water.
What we're essentially talking about with this concept is a body swap film, and they've never been good since the days of Big or the Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin film All of Me, both of which did come before this novel.
The plot idea, through the story in Deadline Hollywood Daily, goes like this. A forty three year old journalist wakes up one morning in his eighteen year old body knowing everything he knew yesterday. In other words he's eighteen again but with the knowledge and expertise of an eighteen year old.
What would you do? Make money and have sex? Oh yes. However this story sees him living his life over again and changing the decisions he messed up, taking paths never explored before, and changing many things in his life, except everything.
You can probably see why I'm so concerned that Affleck is going to take on board this project. He's a great director and has produced two superb thrillers that don't pamper the audience. Here we're looking at a story that has been done so many times before and has always turned out as teen-friendly comedy. Can you see it going any other way?
Of course if he did accept the job and pull it off then he'd be adding so much kudos to his career, so it could work out well.
The script was written by Jason Smilovic back when the Replay novel by Ken Grimwood (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) was published. The article says that the studio are in early talks with Affleck and that he might even act in the lead, well if he does then he's only going to be acting at the start and end of the film isn't he? Otherwise we're watching him in a few creepy and unsettling situations!
I don't know. It doesn't seem like it's a strong choice for him when he could be working on The Trade about the baseball wife and life swapping players, or any other adult thriller.