Paramount Pictures is teaming up with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon through their Pearl Street Films production company to produce The Shadows, based on a true story set in their hometown of Boston. There is no indication that either actor will star in the film, and it seems they will both just be producing at this time. This news comes just days after Ben Affleck was accused of sexual misconduct, for groping actress Hilarie Burton while she was hosting MTV’s TRL back in 2004. The actor later apologized for his actions.
The project comes from writer Chris Bremner, who took his pitch to Paramount, which the studio acquired, and now he will be writing the script. The story will be based on Matthew Pearl’s Boston Globe Magazine article “Into the Shadows,” which chronicles America’s first ever undercover police officers, who were based in Affleck and Damon’s hometown of Boston. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will be producing along with their Pearl Street Films partner Jennifer Todd, with this project described as a period thriller set in the late 1840s.
Boston was one of America’s fastest-growing cities with a population over 100,000 in the late 1840s, which lead to the Boston Police Department to become overwhelmed as crime ran rampant in the city, which had a police force of just 30 police officers and 150 patrolmen. The Boston mayor gave the go-ahead for the police department to create a brand new task force known as “The Shadows,” which would, in essence, become America’s very first police detectives, tasked with wearing plain clothes, going undercover and working with criminal informants. This group is said to revolutionize law enforcement, during the hysteria of the Great Immigration Wave of that era.
No director is attached to the project at this time, and it remains to be seen if this could be the next directorial project for Ben Affleck. While he’s best known as an actor, he is an accomplished filmmaker as well, directing hits such as Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Argo and most recently Live By Night. He is also attached to direct Witness for the Prosecution, although it isn’t clear when production may begin on that project. It’s also possible that Matt Damon could step up and direct this project, since he’s been looking to make his directorial debut for quite some time now. He was once set to make Manchester-By-The-Sea his directing debut, but that ended up being directed by Kenneth Lonergan. He was also set to direct an international thriller called A Foreigner, but Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is now set to direct that project.
Ben Affleck stars as Batman in Justice League, which hits theaters November 17, while Matt Damon stars in Suburbicon, a dark comedy that is set to hit theaters October 27. Both actors will also team up to produce Witness For the Prosecution and they are both producing the Syfy series Incorporated. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on this project, but there is no indication when production may begin, or when this project may be released.