Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Reunite for Netflix’s Crime Drama ‘Animals’: A Deep Dive into Their Latest Collaboration

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Reunite for Netflix’s Crime Drama ‘Animals’: A Deep Dive into Their Latest Collaboration
Photo by Corina Rainer / Unsplash

Hollywood heavyweights Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming up once again, bringing their dynamic partnership to the forefront of Netflix's upcoming noir film, “Animals.” This project marks yet another milestone in their storied collaboration, which has spanned decades and genres.

Following their recent success with the Nike/Michael Jordan biopic “Air,” where Affleck took on dual roles of director and co-star, he is set to direct Damon in this intriguing, secretive project. Initially known under working titles such as “The Animals of Los Angeles” and “Be Gentlemen,” the film has officially been titled “Animals.”

The film is a product of Artists Equity, the joint production company founded by Affleck, Damon, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners. Set to begin filming in March 2024 in Los Angeles, “Animals” promises to be a thrilling addition to both Affleck's and Damon's illustrious careers.

Penned by Connor McIntyre, with revisions by Billy Ray, “Animals” delves into the harrowing tale of a mayoral candidate whose world is upended when his son is kidnapped. Choosing to bypass traditional methods, the candidate and his wife embark on a relentless quest for truth. This gripping narrative is set against a backdrop that is both darkly atmospheric and intensely personal, promising a cinematic experience that is both emotionally charged and intellectually stimulating.

Producing alongside Affleck and Damon is Dani Bernfeld of Artists Equity. Brad Weston and Collin Creighton of MAKEREADY, who played a pivotal role in developing the project in collaboration with Fifth Season (formerly known as Endeavor Content), also join the production team. Artists Equity’s Michael Joe and Kevin Halloran are on board as executive producers, alongside representatives from Fifth Season.

In an interesting twist, while Affleck has not been announced to star in “Animals,” he does feature in his wife Jennifer Lopez’s musical film “This Is Me…Now.” Lopez, also set to lead in “Unstoppable,” benefits from the production prowess of Affleck and Damon's Artists Equity, showcasing the versatility and range of the company.

Reflecting on their journey together, Damon recently commented on Affleck's directorial approach, noting it as a "natural progression." Their partnership, which began with writing, acting, and producing together, has evolved seamlessly into this new phase. Damon fondly recalls their early days, highlighting that Affleck’s influence has been a constant, even during their high school plays.

Affleck echoed these sentiments at the SXSW premiere of “Air.” He emphasized the familiarity and comfort in working with Damon, underlining their mutual trust and respect. Affleck’s directorial philosophy is anchored in this deep-seated camaraderie and extends to his treatment of all actors on set, fostering an environment of respect and creative freedom.

“Animals” represents more than just another project for Affleck and Damon; it is a testament to their enduring partnership and shared vision. Their journey, from the early days of “Good Will Hunting” to the present, showcases an evolution that is rare in Hollywood. Their ability to seamlessly shift roles, from co-stars to director-actor, while maintaining the essence of their collaboration, is a remarkable feat.

As “Animals” gears up for production, anticipation builds not just for the film itself, but for the continued evolution of Affleck and Damon's partnership. Their journey together is a roadmap of creativity, persistence, and mutual respect—a combination that has yielded unforgettable cinematic experiences. With “Animals,” they are set to add another compelling chapter to their shared legacy, one that promises to captivate audiences and critics alike.