George Clooney, Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

Ben Affleck and George Clooney have been looking for an opportunity to work together for years, and they may finally get that chance as Deadline has reported that Affleck is currently in negotiations to star in Amazon Studio’s adaptation of The Tender Bar that is slated to be directed by George Clooney (The Midnight Sky).

Based on the J.R. Moehringer memoir of the same name, The Tender Bar is a coming-of-age tale of a young boy who seeks refuge and father figures at a local bar following the disappearance of his father, a New York City disc jockey. William Monahan (The Departed) has penned the script for the project, which was once slated to be helmed by Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures) at Sony. At the moment, George Clooney is only expected to direct and produce the film, but Deadline says that there’s always a possibility he could appear in the film as well.

A synopsis of The Tender Bar: A Memoir via Amazon:

J.R. Moehringer grew up captivated by a voice. It was the voice of his father, a New York City disc jockey who vanished before J.R. spoke his first word. Sitting on the stoop, pressing an ear to the radio, J.R. would strain to hear in that plummy baritone the secrets of masculinity and identity. Though J.R.’s mother was his world, his rock, he craved something more, something faintly and hauntingly audible only in The Voice. At eight years old, suddenly unable to find The Voice on the radio, J.R. turned in desperation to the bar on the corner, where he found a rousing chorus of new voices. The alphas along the bar–including J.R.’s Uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike; and Joey D, a softhearted brawler–took J.R. to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. They taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fathering-by-committee. Torn between the stirring example of his mother and the lurid romance of the bar, J.R. tried to forge a self somewhere in the center. But when it was time for J.R. to leave home, the bar became an increasingly seductive sanctuary, a place to return and regroup during his picaresque journeys. Time and again the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak–and eventually from reality. In the grand tradition of landmark memoirs, The Tender Bar is suspenseful, wrenching, and achingly funny. A classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it’s also a moving portrait of one boy’s struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.

Ben Affleck has plenty of projects just over the horizon, with Adrian Lyne’s (Fatal Attraction) Deep Water set to hit theaters on August 13, 2021 and Ridley Scott’s (All the Money in the World) The Last Duel following on October 15, 2021. Affleck is also starring in Robert Rodriguez’s (We Can Be Heroes) Hypnotic, an action thriller in which Affleck will play a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing sister and a secret government program, all while investigating a string of impossible high-end heists. Affleck is also tapped to direct The Big Goodbye, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Chinatown. As for George Clooney, he will be starring in The Midnight Sky, which he also directed, a sci-fi film that will debut on Netflix on December 23rd.

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