Ben Affleck’s return to directing will be a movie based on the making of ‘Chinatown’

Ben Affleck is set to work alongside "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels for "The Big Goodbye."

Ben Affleck. Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

After taking a years-long break from directing, Ben Affleck is set to get behind the camera once more.

As first reported by Deadline, Affleck is set to direct “The Big Goodbye,” an adaptation of Sam Wasson’s 2020 non-fiction book about the making of the 1974 classic “Chinatown.”

According to Deadline, “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels will work alongside Affleck as a producer on the film, which will be made for Paramount. Starring Jack Nicholson as hard-boiled detective Jake Giddes, “Chinatown” is considered one of the greatest films in American history, with Robert Towne’s Oscar-winning script in particular noted as one of the finest ever produced. Wasson’s book delves into the production of the film, and how it marked the end of an era in Hollywood, one year before “Jaws” kicked off the age of the blockbuster in 1975.


No information about casting or a production timeline is known at this time, and given that Hollywood has only recently resumed production on a handful of films, it may be a while before more details are known.

Affleck’s last turn in the directing chair was one to forget: “Live By Night,” a 2016 noir adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, was the worst-reviewed film of Affleck’s directorial career.

Affleck, who received positive reviews for his role in March’s addiction drama “The Way Back,” has two upcoming films that may see the light of day once Hollywood returns in full force: “Deep Water,” an erotic thriller co-starring his now-girlfriend Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”), and “The Last Duel,”  a medieval revenge thriller co-written by Affleck, Matt Damon, and Nicole Holofcener (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) and directed by Ridley Scott (“Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Gladiator”).


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