The Way Back may be a Warner Bros. Pictures drama starring Ben Affleck, but the film, which focuses on a high school basketball coach battling alcoholism, also seems to be a therapeutic performance exercise for its star, who, in recent years, has made headlines for that very issue.
Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, Jane Got a Gun) directed The Way Back, reuniting with Ben Affleck, whom he directed in the acclaimed 2014 action drama, The Accountant, for which sequel plans are still in the works. O’Connor worked off a screenplay by Brad Ingelsby, who’s known from 2013’s Out of the Furnace, 2015’s Run All Night, 2018’s American Woman and The Friend, a drama that releases this weekend, starring Casey Affleck and Dakota Johnson.
The Way Back Trailer
The trailer for The Way Back is here, showing star Ben Affleck in a performance that seemingly (well, let’s not kid ourselves, completely) channels his real-life battles with alcoholism. Moreover, not only has his high-school basketball coach character reached “beer in the shower” rock bottom and forced to live with the tattered remnants of his ruined marriage, but he’s also got a team on his hands that – in Bad News Bears/Mighty Ducks genre-conventional form – are rough around the edges.
The Way Back Release Date
The Way Back is scheduled to arrive at theaters on March 6, 2020.
The Way Back Details
As the official synopsis for The Way Back reads:
Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is spiraling down, triggered by an unspeakable loss, and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life. When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a reason to confront the demons that have derailed him. But will it be enough to fill the void, heal the deep wounds of his past, and set him on the road to redemption?
Star Ben Affleck (who’s also the 2013 Best Motion Picture Oscar-winning director for Argo,) is just getting his feet back on the ground after his October 2018 announcement revealing his near-lifelong battle with alcoholism, and his completion of a 40-day rehab stint, stating that his continued efforts to maintain sobriety has become a “full-time commitment.”
Indeed, after making waves by dropping out of his DC Extended Universe role – from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League – as Bruce Wayne/Batman, he’s returned earlier this year in the Netflix action film Triple Frontier as part of an ensemble consisting of Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and The Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal. He subsequently reprised his Chasing Amy role as Holden McNeil for Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. As of now, Affleck has plenty penciled-in on his docket, including the aforementioned sequel to The Accountant.
Affleck is joined in The Way Back cast by Al Madrigal (Night School), Michaela Watkins (Casual), Janina Gavankar (True Blood) and Glynn Turman (Bumblebee).
Director Gavin O’Connor also serves as a producer, joined in the latter capacity by Gordon Gray, Jennifer Todd and Ravi Mehta. Onboard as executive producers are Robert J. Dohrmann, Brad Ingelsby, Kevin McCormick, Mark Ciardi, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Kaitlyn Taafe Cronholm, and Madison Ainley.