Dennis Lehane discusses the infamous failure of Ben Affleck’s film Live by Night and his collaboration with the late Ray Liotta on Apple’s Black Bird
Dennis Lehane is track record with film adaptations of his popular novels has been rather impressive. His book Shutter Island was adapted by Martin Scorsese, while Mystic River was directed by Clint Eastwood. But there is one blemish on his filmography that he still cannot comprehend, more than five years after its release.
Live by Night was supposed to be the unfettered follow-up to Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning movie Argo. Additionally, he authored, co-produced, and starred in the film. It was intended to rekindle interest in historical gangster films and possibly win Affleck the respect he said he didn’t receive as a director after Argo’s great critical and commercial success. But upon its 2016 release, it was panned by critics and viewers alike, derailing Affleck’s career as a filmmaker — he hasn’t directed another film since — and reportedly costing Warner Bros roughly $75 million. This is the total RRR budget.
Live by Night brought together Affleck and Dennis Lehane . Gone Baby Gone, their first film together, was based on Lehane’s novel and marked Affleck’s directorial debut. The intimate thriller was all that Live by Night was not. In an interview with the Indian Express before the release of his next work, the Apple TV+ miniseries Black Bird, Dennis Lehane stated that he still does not understand what went wrong with Live by Night, but he appreciates the film’s sincere aims.
He remarked the lines, “We are not in denial; we all recognize it finally failed.” “But it was done with the best of intentions. It embodied the essence of the text. So, occasionally it creates a strange question mark, such as “Why what happened?” We cannot say. I cannot locate it.”
He said, “And I say the same thing about all of my film adaptations.” I constantly remark, “I’ll accept it on faith that it’s good or terrible, as I am unable to evaluate it.” Too close proximity. When I first saw Live by Night, I thought, “We have a hit on our hands!” Then the evaluations began to appear, and I thought, “Oh, no, we don’t.” Therefore, one never knows. When making a film, the only thing that matters to me is that there is an honest intention, and that’s exactly what I’ve received five out of five times.”
Black Bird represents his first collaboration with a director since the Live by Night debacle. The first three episodes of the six-episode series were directed by Michal R. Roskam, a Belgian filmmaker who previously collaborated with Dennis Lehane on The Drop, a 2014 crime drama starring Tom Hardy. Lehane stated that he was juggling jobs throughout the production of The Drop, as he was also writing for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, but this time he was ‘in charge.’
He stated, “I understood what I was getting myself into.” “Michael has a unique vision, and we had to make our two views for the piece cohere; this conflict is nicely illustrated in the pilot.” There is a great aesthetic tension between myself, Michael, and the director of photography, Natalie Kingston. I mean tension in a positive sense, not a negative one. I’m referring to tension, not conflict.
Black Bird, starring Taron Egerton as a jailed heroin smuggler who is given the option to gain an early release by assisting the FBI in a murder investigation, will also feature one of the late, famous Ray Liotta’s final cinematic appearances. Lehane stated that he penned the part of the protagonist’s grizzled father to showcase a different aspect of the Goodfellas actor’s acting ability.
“Very few filmmakers could match the range of Ray Liotta’s abilities,” he stated.”That is what I wanted to do, and I wanted him to go against type, as he represents a kind, caring, somewhat hapless father as opposed to the hard-edged, vicious, domineering father that he usually plays,” the director said. evil officer, he portrayed in many films.”
Black Bird also features Paul Walter Hauser as a serial killer suspect, as well as Greg Kinnear and Sepideh Moafi as the detectives racing against time to prove his guilt. On July 8, two episodes will launch, followed by a new episode every week for the next month.
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