In what may prove to be either a casting coup or a disaster in the making, Ben Affleck is set to star in an action thriller entitled “The Accountant.”
Affleck reportedly will play a “mild-mannered accountant who moonlights as a hit man,” or “lethal assassin,” according to Variety. Not exactly the kind of practice niche that the average accountant considers entering. The movie is supposed to start production soon, but no release date has been set yet.
Affleck is still finishing up production in the upcoming superhero battle royal “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” After playing Batman, it makes a weird kind of sense that Affleck would take on the role of an accountant. Batman fans were aghast when Affleck was signed to play the Caped Crusader, fearing a reprise of his 2003 superhero flick, “Daredevil.” It's not likely that he's going to attract the same kind of withering criticism for trying to play an accountant. In any case, the folks who attend AICPA conferences are a lot more forgiving than the fans at Comic Con.
Still, Affleck is taking a risk after successfully salvaging his reputation in recent years with his directing and acting efforts in critically praised movies like “Argo” and “Gone Girl” a decade after flops like “Daredevil” and “Gigli” nearly torpedoed his career.
Besides Affleck, “The Accountant” has lined up an impressive cast, including Anna Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” and the “Twilight” movies, along with the current “Into the Woods.” Also co-starring are Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead” and “Fury,” and J.K. Simmons of "Whiplash," “Spider-Man” and "The Closer."
Also just signed is Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who appears on the TV series “Arrow.” She is set to play a Treasury Department analyst. It might be more enjoyable, though, if the part gets rewritten to make her an IRS auditor who torments the Accountant with objections to the tax deductions he claims on behalf of his clients and forces him to endure prolonged correspondence audits and fruitless attempts to get through by phone to the IRS offices.
If anything, Ben Affleck's role as “The Accountant” could do for accountants what Noah Wyle of “ER” did when he started playing “The Librarian” in all those made-for-TV movies he appeared in for TNT. Exactly what that is, I don't know. But it could make the accounting profession a whole lot more exciting, especially for any accountants who happen to moonlight as lethal assassins.