It has been four months since Warner Bros. released Ben Affleck's acclaimed crime film "The Town" and the director still hasn't settled on a follow-up project despite having Hollywood's hottest screenplays to choose from.
The latest is Eric Warren Singer's "American Bulls**t," a Black List-approved script that is described as "the true story of Abscam, the FBI's 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress to root out corruption, which was the brainchild of the world's greatest con man," according to Deadline.
The project is set up at Sony with producer Charles Roven ("The Dark Knight") and his company Atlas Entertainment.
Affleck hasn't committed to stepping behind the camera, but it is reportedly one of several projects he's considering, along with "The Trade" and "Replay," both of which are set up at WB, where Affleck and Matt Damon have their first-look deal.
Dave Mandel wrote the "The Trade," which concerns a pair of New York Yankees pitchers who swapped wives back in the 1970s.
Jason Smilovic ("Lucky Number Slevin") adapted Ken Grimwood's novel "Replay," which follows a 43-year-old radio journalist who dies and gets to relive his life over and over in his 18-year-old body.
Frankly, if I were Affleck, I'd hold out for better.
I've been hearing about "Replay" for the better part of a decade, and that signals a couple things — first and foremost, that it's a tough book to crack. While it's encouraging that other top filmmakers have been interested in the material (clearly there's a movie in it), the premise feels a little too familiar, and not very Affleckian.
"The Trade" sounds fairly intriguing, but the thought of the die-hard Red Sox fan directing a movie about the Evil Empire just doesn't sit right with this fellow Bostonian.
"American Bulls**t" is clearly a well-liked script about a cinematically sexy story that we haven't seen before on the big screen, but something tells me that Affleck can and will find something else that better suits his considerable filmmaking talents.
Maybe he could call up Jerry Bruckheimer Films and request the latest draft of Sean O'Keefe and Will Staples' adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra's bad-ass crime novel "Apaches." Just a suggestion.
Affleck is represented by WME.