Ben Affleck plans directorial debut on crime thriller -- He'll direct but not star in ''Gone, Baby, Gone,'' based on the kidnapping novel by ''Mystic River'' author Dennis Lehane


Last time Ben Affleck shot a movie in his hometown, he won an Academy Award. So it’s no wonder that he plans to return to Boston this fall for another behind-the-camera project. According to Variety, Affleck plans to make his feature directing debut with Gone, Baby, Gone, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel, for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures. Like Lehane’s Mystic River, Gone is a crime drama set in a working-class Boston neighborhood; it’s about two private eyes searching for a kidnapped 4-year-old girl. Unlike Good Will Hunting, for which Affleck shared a screenwriting Oscar with pal and costar Matt Damon, Affleck will not act in Gone.

While the film will mark Affleck’s first full-length directing job, it’s not his first movie as a director; that would be the 16-minute Hollywood satire he shot a decade ago, called I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney. Maybe he should make a sequel: I Split with My Latina Fiancée, Got Hung Out to Dry by the Tabloids, and Now I Have a One-Picture Deal at Disney.