Ben Affleck To Star in New Addiction Drama

By Paul Gaita 05/29/19

Affleck will play a former basketball star whose struggles with alcohol addiction led to the end of his marriage.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck will produce and star in a new feature film about a former basketball star in recovery, slated for release during the 2019 awards season, Variety reports.

Affleck, who is no stranger to recovery off-screen, will re-team with Gavin O'Connor, who directed him in the 2016 action film The Accountant. O'Connor co-wrote the film and will also direct. Warner Bros. has scheduled the drama, which is currently untitled, to debut in theaters on October 18, 2019.

As Variety noted, Affleck will play a former basketball star whose struggles with alcohol addiction led to the end of his marriage. As part of his recovery, Affleck's character takes a job as a coach for a high school basketball team at his alma mater. Affleck will star opposite Janina Gavankar (True Blood), comedian and former Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal, and Australian actress Rachel Carpani.

Affleck's production company, Pearl Street, which he shares with fellow actor-writer Matt Damon, will oversee production of the drama, which was known at various times as Torrance and The Has-Been.

People magazine reported in 2018 that the Oscar-winning actor began preparing for this film, which included daily training and meetings with a basketball coach while completing a 40-day stay in rehab for alcohol dependency. The highly publicized 2018 stint was his third go-around in treatment, following stays in 2001 and 2017.

"Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle," Affleck wrote on social media after completing his treatment in 2018. "So many people have reached out on social media and spoken about their own journeys with addiction. To those people, I want to say thank you."

"With acceptance and humility, I continue to avail myself with the help of so many people, and I am grateful to all those who are there for me I hope down the road I can offer an example to others who are struggling."

Affleck, who can currently be seen in the Netflix action drama Triple Frontier, has won two Oscars—for Best Writing on Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote with Damon, and for Best Picture on Argo, which he directed and co-produced with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Director on the latter film.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.