Ben Affleck battles alcohol addiction in first trailer for ‘The Way Back’

"I made a lot of bad decisions. I've got a lot of regrets."


“I spent a lot of time hurting myself. I made a lot of bad decisions. I’ve got a lot of regrets.”

Those are the words of Ben Affleck in “The Way Back,” a new drama due out in March about a man struggling with alcohol addiction who’s trying to turn around his life.

The first trailer, which hit the internet Thursday, gives viewers a first look at Jack Cunningham, played by Affleck, a former high school basketball phenom whose life has spiraled due to alcoholism, which cost him his marriage and leaves his future looking bleak. When he takes a job coaching his alma mater’s basketball team, he begins to find reason to confront his demons.


Amid the basketball plot line, the trailer shows Cunningham drinking and driving, having a can of beer in the shower, and chugging from a bottle of liquor. It also depicts him having to be carried home and getting injured as a result of his drinking.

In one scene, Janina Gavankar (“True Blood”), who appears to play Cunningham’s ex-wife and mother of their child, tries to get through to him.

“I know you’re suffering,” Gavankar says. “I just want you to be happy again, but you’ve got to want it, too.”

Affleck said he is “so proud” of “The Way Back” and called it “a story of endurance and redemption.”


The Cambridge native has repeatedly spoken out amid his own recovery from alcohol addiction. In October, after a paparazzi video showed the actor unsteady on his feet, Affleck said the incident was “a slip” that he wouldn’t let “derail” him.

Directed by Gavin O’Connor, who worked with Affleck on “The Accountant,” the film also features Al Madrigal (“Night School”), Michaela Watkins (“Casual”), and Glynn Turman (“Bumblebee”). “The Way Back” is slated to hit theaters March 6, 2020.

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