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Casey Affleck to star in Stoner, Joe Wright-directed adaptation of classic novel

Afflect will portray a Missouri small-town farmer turned academic

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Photo by Bex Walton

After an Oscar-winning performance in Manchester by the Sea, Casey Affleck recently starred in the excellent supernatural drama, A Ghost Story. Now, he’s found his next lead role in the Hollywood adaptation of John Williams’ 1965 novel, Stoner.

Affleck will portray William Stoner, a Missouri small-town farmer turned academic who emerges as an unlikely existential hero during the first half of the 20th century. Andrew Bovell will adapt the script for the film, which will be directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) and produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.

“Because the novel is so beautiful but not well-known, fans of Stoner feel like they’re in a secret club. I’m so excited that Casey, Joe and Andrew have come aboard to help expand this club’s membership,” said Blum, who optioned the book in 2011. “This quintessentially American work is being brought to the screen by a terrific international team and we’re confident their combined perspectives will add rich layers to this moving story.”

Ahead of the new role, Affleck is set to appear in this year’s The Old Man and the Gun. As for Wright, his Winston Churchill film starring Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour, is scheduled to arrive this fall. Blum, who’s best known for Split and Get Out, is making his first major Oscar play since Whiplash.

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