EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Pearl Street Films has set Will Staples to script an untitled big-scale project that will be developed as a directing and starring vehicle for Ben Affleck. The film is set in Africa, where a bunch of mercenaries are hired to kill a warlord who has been victimizing his own people. The film is both an action movie and an examination of the moral ambiguities of how philanthropy and foreign assistance veers into modern-day neocolonialism. It also tracks how involvement in the affairs of foreign countries is always a good deal more complicated than anticipated in the planning stages. These were themes that informed Affleck’s previous film Argo, which won Best Picture for Warner Bros. Affleck, who hatched the idea for the film and pitched it to Staples, will produce with Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd through their Warner Bros-based Pearl Street banner. Jon Berg is overseeing for the studio.
Affleck is starring with Rosamund Pike in the David Fincher-directed Gone Girl, and he’s directing and starring in Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. Affleck is also going to star with Henry Cavill in the Zack Snyder-directed Batman Vs. Superman for the studio.
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Staples scripted the Fox film Myth, which has James Cameron, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Sam Worthington involved, as well as King of Heists, a vehicle for Jeremy Renner. He’s repped by WME and Management 360. Affleck is repped by WME.