Buried in a hyperbolic piece of old news — about the tourism ministers of Argentina and Paraguay being incensed at their countries being portrayed as hotbeds for the drug trade in Kathryn Bigelow‘s gestating “Triple Frontier” — is a much more interesting piece of info.
On Tuesday the Eastern Congo Initiative advocacy group, founded by Ben Affleck, released a report calling for the United States to intervene and help bring some stability to the troubled region. In an interview following the report’s release, Affleck stated his desire (and Hollywood’s indifference) in bringing that story to the big screen.
“I would love to make a movie about Congo, but unfortunately I’ve asked Hollywood folks and they always say, ah, nobody wants to see a movie about Africa,” said Affleck.
“I think that points to this general sense that people sort of tune out, that it doesn’t matter,” he continued. “It’s also a function of trends and conventional wisdom: if it comes down to a movie with fighting robots or a movie on what’s happening in eastern Congo, you’re not going to win.”
The history of what is happening in Eastern Congo is hard to summarize, but in short, it has been called Africa’s World War with nine countries and multiple armed factions all battling over the mineral rich land of the country. Over five million people have been killed, three hundred thousand have been made refugees and the crisis is ongoing.
It’s certainly a pressing issue, but sadly Affleck is right in saying Hollywood won’t be funding a movie about it anytime soon. Studios, for the most part, aren’t interested in dramas any more and even if they were, it would be a very hard story to bring to the market. But clearly, it’s an issue close to Affleck’s heart and thus it’s not surprising he’s batted the idea around of making a film to draw attention to the plight of the people in the area.
For now, Affleck is choosing his next project carefully. While he’s been courted for “Superman: Man Of Steel” (which went to Zack Snyder) and “Tales From The Gangster Squad” (which now has Ruben Fleischer lined up), he’s yet to find the one that will be his follow up to “The Town.” He is writing the New York Yankees wife swapping story “The Trade,” with Casey Affleck that has Matt Damon attached to star which he could possibly direct, and he spent part of fall shooting Terrence Malick‘s next, and still untitled, effort.
For more info on what’s happening in the Eastern Congo, you can hit up the website of Eastern Congo Initiative to learn more.