EXCLUSIVE: After winning an Oscar together on Argo, George Clooney is now getting the opportunity to direct Ben Affleck in his next feature film. Sources tell Deadline that Affleck is in negotiations to star in Amazon Studios’ adaptation of The Tender Bar with Clooney helming. The two A-listers have been trying to work together for years, and when Clooney set this as his next directing job, Affleck was high on his list to star in the coming-of-age tale.
Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov would produce through their Smokehouse Pictures banner. Ted Hope also is a producer. William Monahan penned the script.
It’s unknown whether Clooney also would appear in the film, but as with every film he directs, that option is always a possibility.
Based on the J.R. Moehringer memoir about growing up in Long Island seeking out father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar, the film originally was set up Sony with Ted Melfi directing. When Melfi fell off, Sony put the film into turnaround, allowing Amazon to grab it.
Affleck has been busier then ever, starting with his sports drama The Way Back, which earned him some of the best reviews of his career on the acting front. Warner Bros is so impressed that the studio planning to do an awards campaign for his critically acclaimed performance this Oscar season.
He recently wrapped production on the New Regency thriller Deep Water and the Ridley Scott period piece The Last Duel and currently is starring in Robert Rodriguez’s Hypnotic. Affleck also found his next directing gig, signing on to helm The Big Goodbye, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Chinatown.
He is repped by WME.