Interesting and risky news today, as Ben Affleck is apparently in talks to direct and star in Line of Sight, an action thriller about an elite commando unit guarding a precious cargo "while dealing with a global threat." The twist: the concept, which sounds a lot like many First Person Shooter (FPS) video games out there, will be shot entirely in first person… you know, like an FPS.
Hollywood Reporter had the exclusive scoop on the project, which has been written by Halo: Reach scribe Peter O'Brien, so he has some idea of how to tell the story using the unusual format (not that story was Reach's strong point). If Ben Affleck, who already has two very strong thrillers to his directing credit (Gone Baby Gone and The Town), accepts the project it would have shoot after the Iran Hostage Crisis story Argo, which began filming this week.
Filmmakers have toyed with the first-person format before, albeit with limited success. Before Orson Welles made Citizen Kane, he considered – and even wrote an excellent screenplay for – an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Hearts of Darkness, told entirely from the point-of-view of the protagonist. (Whenever he looked in a mirror, the audience would see Welles's face staring back at them.) The project was too ambitious for the 1940s, when cameras were too bulky to pull off the effect, but in 1947 a feature film was made with the gimmick: Lady in the Lake, an adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel (part of the Phillip Marlow series), written and directed by Robert Montgomery. The filmmaking technique has since been used prominently in such films as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Strange Days and Doom, albeit rarely throughout the entire running time. ("Found Footage" films like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project are a slightly different entity, of course.)
Ben Affleck has proven himself as interested in character as he is in action (in fact, significantly moreso), so he might be the perfect choice to ground Line of Sight in genuine drama, as opposed to letting it live and die by the novelty of a gimmick. We hope he takes the job, if the script's worthwhile at any rate.
CraveOnline will return with more Line of Sight news after we search for more health packs.