Animals | Jennifer Garner set to join Ben Affleck’s new crime thriller

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The next film to be directed by Ben Affleck, the crime thriller Animals, could be about to star Jennifer Garner as well as Matt Damon.

Having released the Nike-makes-a-shoe drama Air last year, Ben Affleck is set to embark on his next directing project. He’s busy setting up Animals, a crime drama in which Matt Damon will star as a mayoral candidate whose son is kidnapped.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Garner is in talks to play Damon’s wife in the film. As previously reported, the otherwise undisclosed plot will contain plenty of intrigue – and perhaps a bit of violence: “Surrounded by plenty of enemies, political and otherwise, the husband and wife have no choice but to get their hands dirty in order to save their son,” is how THR describes it.

Over his career as a director, Affleck has tended to gravitate to crime thrillers of one sort or another. In terms of critical and awards success, his high water mark was 2012’s Argo, a tense and pacey true-life retelling of the CIA’s attempt to rescue hostages from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.

Stylistically, it sounds as though Animals might be more closely aligned with 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, a neo-noir thriller in which a Boston-based private investigator (Casey Affleck) investigates the disappearance of a four-year-old girl. That film was also well-received by critics, but a little more under the radar in terms of box office.

As for Animals, the script is being written by Connor McIntyre with Billy Ray contributing some revisions, and the film will eventually make its debut on Netflix. Affleck and Damon will co-produce via their production company Artists Equity, and it’s said that the film could begin shooting in LA as soon as next month (that’s March 2024).

Garner and Affleck have worked together in the past, having met on the set of Pearl Harbor in 2001. The pair then worked together again on Daredevil a few years later; Garner got her own Elektra spin-off movie in 2005, though Affleck’s cameo appearance as Daredevil in that film was cut out. Garner and Affleck divorced in 2018, though we’ll leave the celebrity tittle-tattle to other outlets.

More on Animals as we get it.

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