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Ben Affleck to Direct Matt Damon in Netflix’s Kidnapping Crime Drama ‘Animals’

Ben Affleck will be directing best friend and longtime collaborator Matt Damon once more, this time for Netflix noir film “Animals.”

Affleck recently directed (and co-starred alongside) Damon for Nike/Michael Jordan biopic “Air.” Now, the secretive Netflix production which has been known under titles like “The Animals of Los Angeles” and “Be Gentlemen,” is officially announced as “Animals.”

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Affleck and Damon’s joint Artists Equity production company is behind the film, which is set to begin filming in March 2024 in Los Angeles.

“Animals” is written by Connor McIntyre, with revisions by Billy Ray. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the thriller centers around a mayoral candidate whose son is kidnapped. The candidate and his wife opt to find out the truth for themselves.

“Animals” will be produced by Affleck, Damon, and Dani Bernfeld of Artists Equity, the artist-led studio founded by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Gerry Cardinale/RedBird Capital Partners. Brad Weston and Collin Creighton of MAKEREADY, who developed the project in partnership with Fifth Season (formerly known as Endeavor Content), also produce.

Artists Equity’s Michael Joe and Kevin Halloran will serve as executive producers alongside Fifth Season.

While Affleck is not announced as starring in “Animals,” he does appear in wife Jennifer Lopez’s musical film “This Is Me…Now.” Lopez is also set to lead “Unstoppable,” which is additionally produced by Affleck and Damon’s Artists Equity.

Damon previously said of the “Air” filmmaker Affleck that it was a “natural progression” to inevitably be directed by his fellow “Good Will Hunting” Oscar winner.

“We’ve written a bunch of movies and produced and acted together for so many years and decades, so it didn’t feel any different, working this way,” Damon said. “I mean, we did high school plays where he was like, ‘Dude, I think you should do it like this.’ He’s been directing me for like forty-something years.”

Affleck added at the SXSW “Air” premiere, “We’ve gotten that question a lot, I keep thinking, ‘Should it have felt different?’ Because it felt exactly the same. And what was really wonderful about it was, I love and trust Matt so much, and it was so lovely to be working together, it was kind of like a feeling of, I want the other actors to feel [this too]. Like, ‘Come on, it’s all good, I love actors, I love you, you’re going to be OK, everyone, take as much time as you want, do what you need to do and be respected, and to kind of project that energy.”

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