He did it. Ben Affleck shaved his 'Argo' beard off this week, after a long awards-season campaign that culminated in the Iranian hostage drama winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday (February 24, 2013). The proud director collected his golden statuette with producing partners George Clooney and Grant Heslov, leaving the movie world musing what's next for Affleck - a man now considered one of the most sought-after directorial talents in the business.
One of his next movies is likely to be a long-planned biopic of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, a man on the FBI's most wanted list who was finally captured in 2011. The project involves Affleck, his brother Casey and best friend Matt Damon, who will play the infamous mobster. Speaking to IndieWire last fall - as Argo fever began to take a hold on the awards' season - Affleck explained, "Matt Damon...he's going to play Whitey. And I'm directing it, we're in the process of writing it, the script is not ready yet, it needs a lot more work," confirming that The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire scribe Terrence Winter is busy writing the movie. "[He's] a really talented writer, he's working on it. It's a tricky thing because it needs a lot nuance, but luckily it dosen't matter how old Matt gets. It ends with [Bulger] at 85," said Affleck.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is likely to take another project before moving forward with the biopic, saying, "My guess is honestly, [it'll be] the movie after next. I'll probably find something that's in better shape to do next," and his schedule for the year looks pretty open, with just some promotional duties for crime-drama Runner, Runner to attend to.
Ben Affleck And His Fellow Argo Producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney