Ben Affleck's new movie, The Way Back, deals with some heavy themes, and it looks like he is up for it this time. Affleck stars in this unflinching look at alcoholism and disappointment, and he is excited for fans to see it. After the year that he has had, many fans are hoping to see him get a win here as well.
In The Way Back, Affleck plays a character named Jack Cunningham, a middle-aged man that many believe has squandered his potential in life. According to the movies official synopsis, his downward spiral was "triggered by an unspeakable loss," and is leading him to alcoholism — a problem Affleck himself has dealt with on and off over the years.
The movie also confronts Jack's failed marriage, though it is unclear whether his ex-wife will be a major character in the film. The cast includes Janina Gavankar and Rachael Carpani, but their roles have not been revealed.
All of the trauma and the psychological portrait of Jack are imposed on a sports drama, where he has just as much to learn as his players. In the movie, Jack was a high school basketball star fallen from grace, and forfeiting his college scholarship. Now, years later, he returns to his alma mater to coach the team, at the behest of other teachers and figures who believe in him.
It is clear that the movie will do some genre-blending, mixing a classic sports film with a midlife crisis drama, and perhaps cutting close to home for Affleck. The actor was first sent to treatment at the age of 18, he told the New York Times in 2000. He got sober in his mid-20s, but returned to treatment periodically. He kept his sobriety journey relatively quiet through most of his career.
Affleck went back to treatment in 2017, then relapsed and returned again last year. The ordeal derailed his roles in the burgeoning DC Comics movie franchise, where he played Batman was was expected to direct a movie as well. Just last month, he was seen drunk at a Halloween party in Los Angeles, according to a report by PEOPLE, but he said he was "not going to let it derail" him.
Hopefully, The Way Back will continue to impact Affleck in his personal life as it hits the scene early next year. It already has the interest of fans and critics with the release of the trailer this week.
The Way Back will be in theaters everywhere on March 6, 2020.