Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for The Way Back, the alcoholism/basketball drama starring Ben Affleck. The Oscar winner plays a former high school basketball star whose adult life spiralled downwards following a tragic loss, which drove him to the drink. But when he’s asked to coach the basketball team at his former school after their coach unexpectedly dies, he sees a chance for redemption.
The trailer is pretty great. With these sorts of films there’s always a worry they’ll veer into cliché territory, and while that’s still possible with The Way Back, the care and gravitas put into the trailer gives one hope that this will be more than your typical sports redemption drama.
The film re-teams Affleck with his Accountant director Gavin O’Connor. He also has experience in sports movies, having directed the MMA drama, Warrior. Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night) wrote the script.
If the title sounds familiar to you, you’d be right. There was another film titled The Way Back released in 2010 inspired by the memoir of a former Polish prisoner of war who claimed to have escaped from a Soviet Gulag and walked 4,000 miles to freedom in World War II. To make things more confusing, there was also The Way, Way Back released in 2013, and The Way, also released in 2010.
So if history tells us anything, expect a film titled something like Way Back When to be released next year just to confuse everybody. Fortunately for O’Connor’s film, none of those aforementioned movies really stuck in the zeitgeist. Maybe this one can.
This role begins a potentially exciting run for Affleck. He’s re-teaming with Matt Damon for Ridley Scott‘s The Last Duel, starring in both Robert Rodriguez‘s Hypnotic and Adrian Lyne‘s Deep Water, and also directing the WWII drama Ghost Army.
He’s also potentially directing a remake of Witness For The Prosecution, and also has a film based on a nationwide McDonald’s Monopoly scam in the works. So yeah, we may be seeing a lot of him.
The Way Back also stars Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman. It hits cinemas on March 6, 2020.