Ben Affleck will write and direct a film adaptation of Dennis Lehane's new book

Lehane's 'Live By Night' will be one of Affleck's next projects and will be his second Lehane adaptation after 'Gone Baby Gone.'

Cliff Owen/AP
Ben Affleck's adaptation of 'Live By Night' will be his second adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel after Affleck's 2007 film 'Gone Baby Gone.'

Dennis Lehane’s new novel, “Live By Night,” has only been on shelves for a week, but Ben Affleck has already signed on to bring it to the big screen.

With his much-anticipated thriller “Argo” having hit theaters Oct. 12, Affleck has agreed to write and direct his second Lehane story after 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone.” With another Boston crime narrative, Affleck and his film crew will be back in Beantown in the near future.

Lehane’s new novel, “Live By Night,” takes place in both Prohibition-era Boston and Tampa’s Ybor City. The story centers on the rising of Boston gangster Joe Coughlin. During the time of underground distilleries and speakeasies in the Roaring '20s, Coughlin – the son of a prominent Boston police captain – finds the life of guns, wealth, women and liquor irresistible.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in Lehane’s “Shutter Island,” was originally set to produce after Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the movie. But now DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, will co-produce with Pearl Street, Affleck’s shared company with Matt Damon.

Warner Bros. also bought the rights to “The Given Day,” another Lehane novel that shares the same characters as “Live By Night,” but there are no definitive plans for the movie. Lehane plans to write a third book and tie all three into a trilogy, giving Warner Bros. the potential for a movie trilogy.

Pamela Cyran is a Monitor contributor.

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