Ben Affleck, Matt Damon making a new movie for Netflix, “Animals”


Following the success of “Air,” Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are making a movie together for Netflix, a crime thriller titled “Animals.”

Ben Affleck, left, and Matt Damon arrive for the world premiere of “Air,” at the Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Austin, Texas. Jack Plunkett/Getty

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are making another movie together, this time for Netflix.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Cambridge natives will be teaming up on “Animals,” a crime thriller directed by Affleck and starring Damon that will begin shooting in Los Angeles soon.

Per THR, the plot of “Animals” centers around a mayoral candidate whose son has been kidnapped. In the face of numerous enemies, the politician and his wife “have no choice but to get their hands real dirty in order to save their son.”

In recent years, Affleck and Damon have gone from barely working together on-screen to frequent collaborators. The pair co-wrote and starred in Ridley Scott’s 2021 historic drama “The Last Duel,” which marked their first screenwriting collaboration since winning a screenplay Oscar for 1997’s “Good Will Hunting.”

Since then, Damon and Affleck went on to form their own production company, Artists Equity, which produced the duo’s 2023 Amazon Studios film “Air” and will also produce “Animals” for Netflix.

The company is also responsible for the series of Dunkin’ Donuts commercials starring Affleck, which first debuted at the 2023 Super Bowl.

Ben Affleck’s Netflix criticisms

Affleck and Damon’s Netflix collaboration is an interesting move, given that the pair were critical of Netflix when discussing why they created Artists Equity.

During a conversation at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Affleck criticized Netflix’s “assembly line” approach to content, saying Artists Equity would make movies that audiences will “remember 20 years later.”

“I know you can get people to watch people shooting each other and things blowing up because they’re stoned, it’s two in the morning, and they’re flipping through Netflix,” Affleck said. “But let’s aim a little higher.”

The only Netflix executive Affleck had praise for at the time was Netflix’s head of original films Scott Stuber, who announced this week that he is leaving Netflix to start his own company after previously expressing his desire to also prioritize quality over quantity.

What’s next for Damon and Affleck?

Before “Animals” begins filming, Artists Equity has a number of other movies in the works. Upcoming projects include “Small Things Like These,” a 1980s Irish drama based on the novel of the same name starring Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”), and “Unstoppable,” the true story of a Division 1 wrestling champion born with only one leg that will co-star Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Lopez.

Before either of those projects hit theaters, however, audiences will have a chance to see “The Instigators,” the Artists Equity and Apple Films crime thriller starring Damon and Casey Affleck that was filmed in Boston in 2023.

Directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”), “The Instigators” follows two robbers who must go on the run with the help of one of their therapists after a theft doesn’t go as planned.

“The Instigators” will also feature Hong Chau (“The Whale”), Paul Walter Hauser (“Black Bird”), Alfred Molina (“Spider-Man 2”), Ving Rhames (“Mission: Impossible”), Michael Stuhlbarg (“A Serious Man”), Ron Perlman (“Hellboy”), and rapper Jack Harlow, who made his feature film debut in the 2023 remake of “White Men Can’t Jump.”

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