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    Friday
    Oct082010

    Disney Theatrical Group Restructuring

    Disney Theatrical Group is doing some reshuffling and changing of the guard, TOLDJA! has the press release. See below.

    Today we are announcing a restructuring of some specific areas of Disney Theatrical Group (DTG), most significantly Marketing and Distribution, to align us more closely with both the Studio and Disney International organizations.  The new structure will give us more flexibility, focus and strength.  In addition, this simplified structure will allow us to more efficiently deliver our shows to audiences around the world.

    Inevitably, a restructuring often involves complex staff changes and unavoidable reductions.  We have made these decisions after a thorough review of our business and organization.  The individuals directly affected by these structural changes have already been made aware, and will be provided severance benefits including outplacement assistance to support them in this transition.  I ask that we be sensitive and respectful during this time.  While circumstances can change, we do not have plans for additional layoffs at this time.

    Below, I have outlined in broad strokes the new organization and changes, but we will gather as a group soon to discuss our plans for moving ahead and answer any questions you have.

    I genuinely appreciate your cooperation during this time and look forward to shaping an exciting future together.

    With thanks,
    David

    New Operational Structure for Disney Theatrical Group – October 2010

    MARKETING
     
    Andrew Flatt will lead a centralized marketing strategy and resources team encompassing five key areas:  creative, media/advertising, synergy/partnerships, social media/online and CRM/research.  Andrew’s team will manage these areas for all of our domestic businesses – self-produced and licensed musicals as well as coordinating approvals for Disney on Ice and Disney Live productions.  Andrew’s team will also serve as a shared services resource center for the local teams in international regions.

    DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION

    Jack Eldon is relocating to New York to lead a team responsible for managing our domestic businesses including self-produced and licensed musicals as well as coordinating with Feld Entertainment on the success of domestic Disney on Ice and Disney Live engagements.

    INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 

    Ron Kollen will oversee strategy for all our businesses outside the U.S.  Around the world, Fiona Thomas, based in London, is responsible for Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Russia.  James Thane, based in Sydney, is responsible for Australia and South East Asia.  Michael Cassel, based in New York, is responsible for Japan, Latin America, China and India.  In addition, Felipe Gamba recently joined Ron’s team in New York to explore local content development opportunities with local country leadership worldwide.

    FINANCE AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 

    Mario Iannetta will lead finance and a newly formed business development role, headed by Michael Barra, who is coming to join Mario’s team in New York from a position with Studio Finance in Burbank.  In addition to analyzing new opportunities, Michael’s business development role will link into Leslie Stern’s Studio Franchise team to explore how DTG can adapt content developed by the Studio and Channels.

    All four department heads will report to me along with Bryan Dockett (Domestic Sales), Steven Downing (Merchandising), June Heindel (Human Resources) and Dana Amendola (Operations). Myself, Steve Fickinger (Creative Development), Michele Steckler (Production), Joe Quenqua (Public Relations) and Jonathan Olson (Business and Legal Affairs) will continue to report to Tom.

    As a result of this reorganization, the management of our long-time licensing relationship with Feld Entertainment will be consolidated into these new departments in New York.  As a result, we are informing the Glendale staff of changes today and closing the office at month’s end.  Carol Nygren, who successfully led this area for five years, will be leaving our group.  We thank Carol for her many years of enthusiastic leadership.

    Change can be difficult and it can also be the key to successfully moving forward in a complex business environment.  Our first priority will always be to develop and deliver exceptional experiences that connect with our audiences.

    Friday
    Oct082010

    "Sons of Anarchy" Renewed At FX 

    In 2010, Sons of Anarchy ranks as basic cable’s number one scripted series in delivery of Adults 18-49. On a weekly, multi-telecast basis, Sons of Anarchy delivers 8.6 million Total Viewers and 5.9 million Adults 18-49. On a first-run, primary telecast basis, Sons averages 4.9 million Total Viewers and 3.4 million Adults 18-49. It is the highest rated series ever for FX.

    “Sons of Anarchy is the most popular show FX has ever had, and the #1 series in basic cable for our key demographic.  It is also one of the best, most original series on television,” said FX president John Landgraf.

    Sons of Anarchy was created by Kurt Sutter who also serves as Executive Producer along with John and Art Linson. The series is produced by FX Productions and Fox 21.

    Friday
    Oct082010

    "127 Hours" Trailer

    True story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers (Clemence Poesy), family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? A visceral thrilling story that will take an audience on a never before experienced journey and prove what we can do when we choose life.
    Friday
    Oct082010

    "Voyage Of The Dawn Treader" International Trailer

    This time around – Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their pesky cousin Eustace Scrubb – find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to a fantastic Narnian ship headed for the very edges of the world.

    Joining forces once again with their royal friend Prince Caspian and the warrior mouse Reepicheep, they are whisked away on a mysterious mission to the Lone Islands, and beyond. On this bewitching voyage that will test their hearts and spirits, the trio will face magical Dufflepuds, sinister slave traders, roaring dragons and enchanted merfolk. Only an entirely uncharted journey to Aslan's Country – a voyage of destiny and transformation for each of those aboard the Dawn Treader – can save Narnia, and all the astonishing creatures in it, from an unfathomable fate.

    Friday
    Oct082010

    Syfy's "Caprica" & "Stargate Universe" Sneak Peek Clips

    Below is a sneak peek clip of the new SGU episode, Awakening, airing Tuesday, October 12th at 9/8c on Syfy.  The team’s journey is interrupted by an unidentified ship, and it appears they are headed towards a collision of catastrophic proportions.  Will the team be safe, make allies, or enter into an unwanted conflict?  You’ll have to watch the clip and tune in to find out more of the unknown.  

    Below you will find two sneak peek clips from the next episode of Caprica, airing October 12th at 9/8c on Syfy.  As missions are carried out, questions and guns are raised in the struggle to carry out the task at hand.  Don’t miss this action-packed episode that should keep you on the edge of your seat.  Enjoy the ride and thanks for posting!


    Friday
    Oct082010

    "Ong Bak 3" Poster

    Martial arts legend Tony Jaa writes, directs, produces and stars in ONG BAK 3, the third and final installment in one of the most beloved action series of all time. Picking up at the cliffhanger ending where Ong Bak 2 leaves off, Jaa ramps up the epic supernatural elements of the previous film, while still maintaining the trademark bone-crunching action that the series is known for. This time he must face his ultimate enemy: a fierce supernatural warrior named “Demon Crow,” played by fellow martial arts sensation Dan Chupong (Dynamite Warrior). Eagerly anticipated by martial arts aficionados for some time, the matchup of Jaa and Chupong is explosive.

    Friday
    Oct082010

    New "Monsters" Poster

    Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures... Our story begins when a jaded US journalist (McNairy) begrudgingly agrees to find his boss’ daughter, a shaken American tourist (Able) and escort her through the infected zone to the safety of the US border. 

    Thursday
    Oct072010

    Scriptapalooza Announces 13th Annual Screenwriting Competition

    Scriptapalooza today announces its 13th Annual Screenplay Competition to continue its mission in providing unparalleled creative opportunities for aspiring screenwriters in the fiercely competitive entertainment industry.

    From now until the April 15th deadline, writers will be able to submit their screenplays through
    www.Scriptapalooza.com Participants will have their individual entries read by more than 90 leading filmmakers, production companies and literary agencies including 2929 Productions, Anonymous Content, Industry Entertainment, Lawrence Bender Productions and The Orphanage.

    As the leading screenplay competition, Scriptapalooza is fully endorsed by legendary author and screenwriter Robert McKee (Story) and the screenwriting software company Write Brothers Inc.

    The first place winner, chosen by Scriptapalooza, receives a $10,000 grand prize. In addition, Scriptapalooza offers its full support to the winner; finalists and semifinalists of the screenwriting challenge by promoting each work for one year after the winners’ announcement.

    “Since its inception in 1998, the Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition has grown exponentially to become one of the well-respected competitions within the entertainment industry,” said Mark Andrushko, president and co-founder of Scriptapalooza. “Through this competition, we have optioned more than 40 scripts and opened new doors to unknown talent. We are pleased to move forward in our 13th year and continue helping participants receive introductions or representation with some of biggest players in the industry.”

    Within the past 13 years, Scriptapalooza participants have gone on to receive incredible success based on their submission through the Screenplay Competition. Select highlights include:

    . 2009 Winner John Todd options his script Madam I'm Adam to Alan Ladd Productions.
    . 2007 Finalist John Muscarnero shoots his film, Dark Woods.
    . 2005 Winner Patrick Andrew O’Connor sells his movie The Break-Up Artist during the Cannes Film Festival.
    . 2005 Finalist Craig Clyde’s film, The Holidays airs on Lifetime.
    . 2006 Semi-Finalist Eric D. Howell shoots his short film, Ana’s Playground.
    . 2003 Semi-Finalist Rodney Johnson’s Queen Sized airs on Lifetime.
    . 2003 Scriptapalooza’s TV Winner Barbara Schwartz wins EMMY for Rugrats.

    For more information regarding the competition or to submit a screenplay online, please go to
    www.Scriptapalooza.com.

    Thursday
    Oct072010

    First Draft - 'Daredevil: The Man Without Fear'

    You need something to take your mind of Superman news this week don't you? Hopefully I have just the thing.

    'Daredevil' is one of those comic book movies which still inspires debate over its merits and faults with no clear consensus as to its overall quality. As you can read in my piece from the 'Marveling at the Past' series, I think some sections the film are note perfect while others completely fail in every way. The result is a flawed film but one made with such passion for the character that it actually got me reading Daredevil comics for the first time and beginning my own love for the character. You may look at the film as a Daredevil fan yourself and wonder how they could have screwed up so much, that it would not be possible to make a worse film.

    Trust me, it was possible.

    Back in the mid 1990's, the first rumblings of Daredevil's long development process began when none other than Chris Columbus attached himself to the project (while hoping to helm 'The Fantastic Four' at the same time evidently). I never knew at the time why his take on Daredevil never got off the ground. Reading his first draft screenplay makes it practically self evident.

    The screenplay we are looking at today is the 128 page first draft written by Chris Columbus & Carlo Carlei dated September 18th 1996. It is quite an interesting read in that the basic structure of the finished film is laid here and you assume that Mark Steven Johnson used it as inspiration to craft the final shooting script. It also gives you, whether you like the film or not, a deeper appreciation for what ended up on screen as this draft exposes all of Columbus' weaknesses as a writer.

    On the positive side, Columbus in no way intends for 'Daredevil' to be a small scale piece. The action is well written and the set pieces are varied, broad and big. But Columbus also gives us a comic book movie which repeats cliche upon cliche, contains clunky dialogue, characters we don't care about, very little substance and what it does have to say is spelled out for the audience with a speech bubble and an exclamation mark in the true spirit of a cheesy 1960's Marvel comic.

    The story begins, not with the dramatic hook of the adult Matt Murdock bleeding to death after his battle with Elektra and Bullseye, but immediately taking us to his upbringing as a young boy in the grimy streets of Hell's Kitchen, Clinton, New York. Within the first few pages, we sense something is not right. The Matt Murdock we meet is a boy who steals a nightstick from a beat cop on a 'dare' (geddit?) from some bullies. That same evening Matt's father, down and out boxer Jack 'The Devil' Murdock returns home. Matt is hoping to keep his unlawful antics quiet from his father but Jack already knows and promptly smacks his son in the face. In the very next scene, this child beating asshole, whom we're supposed to care about in a little while when he dies, gives Matt a speech on integrity, truth and justice clearly being the personification of all those traits.

    Firstly, Jack's function in the Daredevil mythology is to act as the inspiration for everything Matt does later in life. Jack teaches his son the importance of never giving up, of faith, of sticking up for the little guy, and never lets him forget that he can really become someone important no matter his upbringing. His introductory scene in the finished film accomplished all of this in a grounded way. Jack encourages his son at every moment to be a better human being than his father is. In that sort of self loathing, we find something endearing about the character. We understand why Matt loves is father and we understand why Daredevil comes to exist. The Jack of this script serves no function save the cliche found in so many other comic book movies; to send his son into the world to fight evil for no reason. Though he is meant to be a bum from New York, Jack's pompous little sermon to his son smacks more of Jor-El or Uncle Ben Parker.

    Jack's other function in the script is to get brutally murdered in an alley to set his son on a course of vengeance but this is handled even worse. As I think I've made clear, we don't care about Jack and we don't care about Matt much either. You would think that Matt's fatal accident with radioactive waste which blinds him would create some sympathy but he adjusts so ridiculously well to it in this script, as though it is the best thing that ever happened to him. He even says as much at one point. You are reminded of that scene in 'The Mask' where Jim Carrey says "with these powers I could become....A SUPER HERO".

    As in the comics, the script has Jack allying himself with brutal mobster 'The Fixer' who promises to personally ensure the boxer's rise to the top but is actually controlling the fights, making sure the opponents take a fall and then demands the same of Jack. As it plays out in the comics and the finished film, Jack refuses to take the fall, knowing full well he will die for it but willing to do so to continue to be an example to his son and ensure he continues on the right path. Jack is murdered in a back alley by 'The Fixer' and his goons, most notably chief henchman Wilson Fisk, the man who will become the Kingpin of crime and Matt Murdock, a scared and helpless blind child is left completely alone in the world. As an audience, you can really admire Matt as a character for the simple reason that he pulled himself out of that nightmare, managed to survive and make his father proud.

    In this script, however, it doesn't quite work that way. When 'The Fixer' reveals how staged Jack's amazing comeback has been all along and that he must now throw his next fight, the character seems to reject it more as a matter of personal pride than duty to his son. Again, Jack's character is so badly written that we just do not care when he dies. Worse than that, his death does not take place until Matt is in college, having already met soon to be best friend Foggy Nelson. We are robbed of even the pathos of a little boy cradling his dead father, of that desperation, isolation and utter loneliness......because he isn't alone and he isn't a child.

    Nor are we afforded a moment of grim realism and mourning as Matt, having discovered his father's body, practically runs into the nearest phone booth and puts on the original yellow Daredevil costume for the first time to hunt down 'The Fixer'. The following sequence is almost identical to that in the finished film where the more established Daredevil hunts down rapist scum bag Jose Quesada and corners him on a subway platform. Though they both contain the exciting concept of portraying the character literally as a devil stalking his prey and knowing its every move, practically enjoying taunting it, only the finished film shows us that blurred line Daredevil walks as a ruthless vigilante not afraid to truly punish evil. Instead of a dramatic scenario where a young man looks his father's killer in the eye, having hunted him down by abusing the powers he has been given, and questions whether he can show the same ruthlessness as was shown to Jack, the script cops out and has 'The Fixer' die of a heart attack having been scared to death by the devil (the fact that Matt is wearing the yellow Daredevil costume only makes this more absurd).

    This scenario does, however, provide a good set-up for the Kingpin. The idea that he was the henchman that killed Matt's father was a poorly explained afterthought in the finished film. Here, Wilson Fisk's rise to power is given almost as much exposure as Daredevil's crime fighting career. In fact Fisk is probably the only character in the script that really works and honours the source material. Though it has no time to delve into the stories which really gave depth to him in the comics such as his relationship with his wife, the Kingpin of this script is exactly as he should be; ruthlessly efficient, smart, focused and five steps ahead of everyone else in his organization. To be fair, the Kingpin of the actual movie has barely any screen time so anything would be a step up from that.

    Don't be thinking that Kingpin is perfectly handled though. As you can tell, there is a running theme of botching things in this script. Kingpin's ascent to power is described in the script as a montage similar to 'Rocky III' intercut with Daredevil's continued war on crime as he dons the classic red suit. The only montage that came to my mind while reading it was the one in 'Dick Tracy' where Al Pacino's Big Boy Caprice takes control of the city and rolls around in money to a jazzy Stephen Sondheim ballad. Secondly, though he is meant to be both a legitimate businessman and the secret top crime boss of Manhattan, there is very little distinction made between Wilson Fisk and the Kingpin in the script and very little evidence to show that precautions are taken to protect him from the law. Finally, as a crime boss in the broadest sense, you name the cliche that would come with that and you get it here. Of course Kingpin loves dollar bills. Of course he smashes his desk in anger. Of course there is a scene where Kingpin assembles his mob lieutenants and one of them is an old school hood who disagrees with the way Fisk handles business for no reason at all save that we can see our man villain kill him right there and then.

    Bullseye, however, is a different matter. His character is so completely mishandled that you grow tired of him the second he appears in the script. He is both completely insane and yet totally dull at the same time as he has no actual personality and very little is made of his actual talent for killing with deadly accuracy. His function in the script is actually to provide its message and moral centre, what painfully little there is. Bullseye arrives in the second act, blows up a building and is promptly defeated, but not killed, by Daredevil. In an absurd scene following this, Bullseye is put on trial but found innocent due to purely circumstantial evidence (the fallibility of the justice system being rammed down our throat) and walks free only to kill again. This time his target is Elektra's father Nicholas Natchios and the pain and separation Matt and her endure after this leads to the question of whether Daredevil should have killed Bullseye to avoid it. It is an uninteresting question and no answer is provided regardless.

    You'll notice I haven't even really mentioned Elektra yet. That's because she feels like an afterthought in this script. She comes in about half way through and while Columbus appears to have read 'The Elektra Saga', he clearly has no idea why it resonated with readers. I've said it before but it bears repeating. Elektra's story is one of violence, vengeance and hatred corrupting the soul beyond repair. Matt and Elektra's love was built to last but torn apart by one devastating act of violence towards her father which drove them apart. When she comes back into his life it is at the exact moment he has managed to put her in the past and while he desperately wants to bring Elektra back to the light, Matt is now fighting someone beyond recognition. In the finished film, Elektra serves as a ray of light in Matt's life at the exact moment that he needs it, only making the moment when it is stripped away all the more painful. Both versions work very well.

    The way Matt and Elektra meet in this script, the way they interact and the way they hint at each other's double identities feels like a pale imitation of the Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle relationship in 'Batman Returns' except that there is no hint of chemistry, sexual tension or even the slightest appeal between the two. If you don't have that, 'The Elektra Saga' is not going to work. The script's biggest misfire is saved for her character. The most vitally important thing about Elektra was always that she made her own choices. Even as she walked away from Murdock, chose violence and death over love and companionship, stayed on that course even as Matt tried to pull her back, and went so far down the path of no return that she agreed to be the Kingpin's top assassin and take out Foggy Nelson, they were her choices.

    In this script, we are first treated to a bizarre scene where the Kingpin proposes marriage to Elektra, during her father's funeral no less, and then drugs and kidnaps her. When Elektra storms into the third act as the master assassin we think we recognise, she is only fighting Daredevil because she has been drugged and brainwashed, both weakening her character and taking away the most interesting thing about watching the two former lovers fight - that they both know who they are fighting and why. Even before this stunning turn of events I had actually given up on the script. As it desperately tries to shoe-horn in a little of the storyline from probably the most highly regarded Daredevil comic storyline 'Born Again', in which the Kingpin finds out the secret identity of Matt Murdock and brings his life crashing cown on him piece by piece in the most beautifully orchestrated revenge plot, we are choked with exposition on the secret backgrounds of both Elektra and Wilson Fisk.

    More than being quite a mess of a screenplay, Columbus' take on Daredevil is mostly a long and dreary read with all sorts of bits and pieces stolen from the ten comic book movies he must have watched before writing it. Most of what makes the character interesting has been stripped away. Beloved comic book storylines are butchered in ways that make 'X-Men: The Last Stand's adaptation of 'The Dark Phoenix Saga' feel reverential in comparison. And it has nothing to say. It is a film about nothing. It is a 90's comic book movie in the worse way; the reason why the genre was so derided before films like 'Blade' and 'X-Men' made us believe again.

    You might just want to pop Mark Steven Johnson's film in your DVD player this weekend and thank heaven for small mercies.

    Wednesday
    Oct062010

    The Comeback of Ben Affleck

    Circa the year 2004.  Good Will Hunting and Academy Award winning screenwriter, Ben Affleck, is coming off another terrible year as both an actor and Hollywood celebrity.  First, his much publicized relationship with actress/singer Jennifer Lopez ("Bennifer"), comes to an end after a two-year engagement.  Along with this, Affleck had starred in not only one but two critical and commerical failures, the audience ignored, Jersey Girl, and the critically panned, Surviving Christmas.  All of this following the year of 2003, where the actor starred in three more poorly received films, the financially successful but critically trashed Daredevil, the legendarily atrociious Gigli, and the laughably bad, Paycheck.  Once hot as fire in the movie business, Affleck had seen his career go from an up and coming Hollywood talent, to a joke in both the standards of Tinseltown and movegoers alike.

    Recognizing the failed path his career had taken him, Affleck decided to start from scratch and rebuild his respectability as an actor, and unforseeingly, a director, from the ground up.  Starting off in the year 2005, Affleck did not appear in a single film, a healthy break for both his career and moviegoers who had grown tired of his celebrity.  Along with this, Affleck married his former Daredevil and Pearl Harbor co-star, Jennifer Garner, who he had began dating a year earlier.  The couple welcomed their first child that same year and the actor embraced a more low-key approach to his personal life.

    Then the year 2006 came, the beginning of the rebuilding process for Ben Affleck as the actor appeared in three films.  First, the small-scaled dramedy, Man About Town, which garnered positive reviews but made next to nothing at the box office.  Next, a cameo in his close friend, Kevin Smith's Clerks II and finally, a critically praised performance in the mystery-drama, Hollywoodland.  While none of these films lit up Hollywood, Affleck had chosen two very distinct starring roles, ones which varied greatly from the mindless action he had done before.

    2007 marked the turning of the tide for Affleck, not as an actor, but more-so, an artist.  While he appeared in the ensemble action flick, Smokin' Aces, it was his directorial debut that got Hollywood and moviegoers to notice Ben Affleck again.  Based off the novel of the same name, Gone Baby Gone tells the story of two private investigators and their hunt for an abducted four-year-old girl from the neighborhood of Dorchester in Boston.  Affleck co-wrote the script along with casting his younger brother, Casey, in the lead role.  The film, released in the fall of that year, opened to critical acclaim, with many praising Affleck for untapped directorial talent.  Gone Baby Gone would go on to win a slew of awards that season as well as putting Ben Affleck back on the map of Hollywood.

    After the successful year of 2007, Affleck returned to his acting roots in 2008, filming roles in three films, all released the following year.  The first was the ensemble romantic-comedy, He's Just Not That Into You, which garnered mixed reviews, but was a successful hit at the box office.  Next, he appeared in the political thriller, State of Play, whilst a modest success at the box office, attained great reviews from critics.  Finally there was the Mike Judge comedy, Extract, in which Affleck played a supporting role unlike anything the actor had played before.  Most were impressed by the actor's surprisingly good comedic turn as a pot smoking bartender.  While 2009 was another stepping stone in the road to rebuilding Ben Affleck's career, it was the 'bridge' to the comeback that would come in 2010.

    Leading up to the release date of September 17th, Hollywood and audiences weren't really sure what to make of the Ben Affleck's second directorial effort, The Town.  Was it going to be a good crime thriller?  From the looks of it.  Would it score number 1 at the box office opening weekend?  Probably.  Would Ben Affleck succeed in his first leading role in a major movie in 6 years?  Not sure.  The Town was based off the Chuck Hogan novel, Prince of Theives, about a life-long bank robber in Charlestown, Massachusets, Doug MacRay, who attempts to change his life after getting romantically involed with the manager of a bank he and his friends robbed.  Affleck had put together quite a cast for the flick, not well-known but respected actress, Rebecca Hall, TV's Mad Men star, Jon Hamn, recent Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner, along with the always powerful Chris Cooper in a small but important role. 

    With the said, when The Town opened, it blew both critics and audiences away.  Many hailed it as one of the best films of the year, and praised the work done by Affleck as both an actor and especially, a director.  The film was number 1 at the box office two weeks in a row, and to this date, has grossed nearly 70 million domestically, and is probably heading north of the $100 million mark when all is said and done.  It is expected that the flick will get a ton of nominations come awards season, with many predictors pegging it as an Oscar favorite for Best Picture, and stongly, Best Director for Affleck.

    In the aftermath of the success of The Town, Ben Affleck's career is hotter maybe than it's ever been before.  Warner Bros. is practically in love with him as they offered him not only the new Superman film, but also the period-crime drama, Tales from the Gangster Squad (Affleck passed on both).  He also has a part in the next Terrence Malick film which is still untitled.  At this point, Affleck can do whatever he wants.  He's earned it.  With hard work, smart decisions, and the perservane to get back up when you're down, Ben Affleck has shown it's never impossible to rebuild your career, maybe better than ever.