Ben Affleck is gearing up to add the term “fantasy filmmaker” to his resume by directing Keeper of the Lost Cities for Disney. Sources close to the project have recently told Deadline that a live-action feature based on the bestselling novel series by Shannon Messenger is currently in the works. In addition to serving as the film’s director, Affleck will also produce through his Pear Street studio. He’ll also help to adapt the script with Kate Gritmon. Meanwhile, Madison Ainley will executive produce.
In the bestselling novel, a telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world before the wrong person finds the answer first. When twelve-year-old Sophie finally discovers where her secret telepathic ability comes from, she learns she’s actually not human but is from another world that exists side-by-side with ours.
The Keeper of the Lost Cities series has printed more than 2.5 million books thus far, with Book 8.5 expected for a November 17, 2021 release in stores and through online retailers. The series has been a smash hit with high-fantasy fans and critics alike. In fact, Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities series is a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award semi-finalist, a California Gold Medal Winner, New York Times, and USA TODAY best-seller.
As a major fan of fantasy filmmaking, I’m very intrigued by this project. Affleck is a fine director and I like the idea of him venturing outside of his wheelhouse for something otherworldly and weird. I look forward to seeing his approach to Keeper of the Lost Cities, and can’t help but wonder if Disney is hoping the film has major franchise potential, considering how many books currently exist in the series. Could Affleck be at the head of another generation’s Harry Potter? We’ll just have to wait and see.