Pre-Production Starts for Movie Based on Dennis Lehane’s Latest Novel

Ben Affleck is behind the adaptation of the gangster tale "Live By Night."

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Just days after author Dennis Lehane took home a prestigious national award for his book Live By Night, pre-production on a movie based on the novel, parts of which are set in Boston, began in Hollywood.

According to, an adaptation of Lehane’s latest book, about the rum trade in Florida during the prohibition era, began on Monday. The movie is being directed by and stars Ben Affleck, and was originally acquired by Warner Bros. So far, according to the report, Affleck is the only person cast for the movie, which begins in Boston and tracks main character Joe Coughlin during his rise to mafia status while dealing with the liquor trading business down South.

Actual production is scheduled for sometime in August or September, but no word yet if Affleck will bring it back to Boston for filming. It will be Affleck’s second movie based on one of Lehane’s novels. In 2007 he directed Gone, Baby, Gone, a thriller about a kidnapping in Boston, which starred Affleck’s brother, Casey.

In October, when Live By Night came out, Lehane said Hollywood executives were clamoring to get their hands on the exclusive movie rights.

Hollywood is the dog that follows the tail. The bidding war on this was insanity. The hunger for it—they don’t even friggin’ read the thing, they just want it.

Coincidentally, Lehane will visit the South End Library on Tuesday, a day after the announcement about pre-production, to talk about the book, which earned him “an Edgar” for best novel, beating out the best-selling book Gone Girl, at the 2013 Edgar Awards. The award was the first Lehane received in 18 years, despite the fact many of his works have landed on the New York Times bestseller’s list. Lehane is expected to touch on topics like “movies, Boston, the process of writing, the Marathon bombing or the strength and character of our city,” according to event details.

Lehane, a Dorchester native, made headlines just days after the Boston Marathon bombings for writing a New York Times op-ed titled “Messing with The Wrong City,” where he listed off the gritty reasons about what makes Boston a place he loves.