Ben Affleck to direct and star in Witness for the Prosecution
Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox is closing a deal with Ben Affleck to direct and star in Witness for the Prosecution, an adaptation of the Agatha Christie short story and play. Christopher Keyser (Tyrant) will pen the script and Affleck will produce the film with Jennifer Todd, Matt Damon and the Agatha Christie estate.
The story was previously adapted for the big screen in 1957 from Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard director Billy Wilder. The film starred Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton and was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture.
The original short story is described as follows: “When wealthy spinster Emily French is found murdered, suspicion falls on Leonard Vole, the man to whom she hastily bequeathed her riches before she died. Leonard assures the investigators that his wife, Romaine Heilger, can provide them with an alibi. However, when questioned, Romaine informs the police that Vole returned home late that night covered in blood. During the trial, Ms. French’s housekeeper, Janet, gives damning evidence against Vole, and, as Romaine’s cross-examination begins, her motives come under scrutiny from the courtroom. One question remains, will justice prevail?”
Affleck’s last directorial effort was Best Picture winner Argo with his next film Live By Night set for a release on January 13, 2017. The actor is also currently filming Warner Bros.’ Justice League film, reprising his role as Batman in the ensemble piece, and is set to direct a solo Batman feature film, though when that will be released and if it will be filmed before or after Witness for the Persecution remains to be seen.
(Photo Credit: Joe Alvarez)