Ben Affleck must have classic thrillers on the brain. First came news that he wanted to star in a re-imaging of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Strangers on a Train. Now word is out that the Gone Girl lead is planning to remake Witness for the Prosecution. Affleck will reportedly star in and direct the film, based on Agatha Christie’s memorable courtroom short story.
Affleck will follow in the footsteps of iconic director Billy Wilder, who helmed the Oscar-nominated 1957 adaptation that starred Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton. The story centers on a man accused of murdering a wealthy widow who was enamored with him and who had made him the beneficiary of her will.
Affleck will also produce the remake, along with Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd and the Agatha Christie estate. The screenplay is being written by Christopher Keyster (Party of Five).
Although the 1957 version is the most famous, there have been other adaptations, including TV movies from 1949 and 1982, proving the popularity of the story over the years. Another TV adaption, set to debut next year, is currently being produced in the UK, starring David Haig in Charles Laughton’s role as the defense attorney.
Affleck is compiling an impressive slate of upcoming projects. Between now and the end of next year, the actor/filmmaker has a number of movies premiering, including the crime thriller The Accountant, out Oct.13; Prohibition-era crime drama Live by Night, in theaters Jan. 13; an untitled Batman reboot; and the first installment of Justice League, which is currently filming and expected to come out Nov. 17, 2017.