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Having already donned the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl for this past March’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and this summer’s Suicide Squad, Ben Affleck is about to get busy over the next few months. First up is October’s thriller The Accountant, in which he plays a gifted mathematician who also works as a world-class assassin. And then shortly after that, he’ll deliver his first directorial effort since 2012’s Best Picture winning Argo: Live by Night, whose first trailer was just released.
Like Affleck’s 2007 directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, Live by Night is adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island) and involves a former military man named Joe Coughlin (Affleck) pursuing a new career as a gangster in the Prohibition-era 1920s. From the looks of things, Affleck will be embracing a dapper, Dick Tracy style, and though the film will be full of meticulous period detail, its tale of a good man caught up in an ugly business — complete with shootouts, car chases, and doomed romances — makes it feel like a spiritual companion to Affleck’s 2010 modern crime saga The Town.
Live by Night’s first trailer seems pitched on the precipice between old-school cops-and-robbers and Boardwalk Empire-style affectation, but given that Affleck has shown himself to be a sturdy big-studio craftsman, his latest behind-the-camera work remains one of the winter’s most promising releases. Also starring Zoe Saldana, Scott Eastwood, and Sienna Miller, it’s currently scheduled to debut in theaters on Jan. 13, 2017, but it may still get an Oscar qualifying run in December.