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A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Affleck, 40, married to Phoenix’s sister Summer Phoenix, will make his narrative directorial debut, and Phoenix, 41, will star in the drama that adapts the 2009 novel by Robert Olmstead.
Affleck (WME, Ziffren Brittenham) also is producing the movie with John Powers Middleton (The Lego Movie, Good Universe’s Oldboy remake), making it the first effort for their banner The Affleck/Middleton Project, launched in June 2014.
Far Bright Star is set in 1916 and tells of an aging cavalryman, to be played by Phoenix (WME, Sloane Offer), who is leading a ragtag group of young men on a hunt for the legendary Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. When the group is attacked and most of his charges are killed, the man is left struggling for survival in the desert. Damien Ober (WME, Echo Lake, Mark Temple) wrote the screenplay.
“This is a beautifully written story on pain and loss and the drive and resilience one finds within themselves to continue through the day,” Affleck tells THR.
The project will reunite Affleck and Phoenix for the first time since 2010’s I’m Still Here, the faux documentary Affleck made about Phoenix’s apparent career transition from actor to rapper.
Affleck next stars in Disney’s Coast Guard thriller The Finest Hours. Phoenix recently starred in Woody Allen’s Irrational Man.
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