Everybody loves a good comeback narrative because there’s something intrinsically satisfying about the result. It’s something that may be best exemplified by the life cycle of the mythical phoenix. Burning itself signifies the decision to put all the mistakes of one’s life behind. Then—just when it might seem too late for such a move—a beautiful being rises from the brink of destruction to soar and face life anew. The new film “The Way Back” showcases Ben Affleck spreading his own wings, not just in terms of his acting.
Director, co-producer, and co-writer Gavin O’Connor brings an accomplished touch to this project that is part sports movie and part road-to-recovery drama. He oversaw the true story of the 1980 U.S. men’s ice hockey team’s improbable Olympic victory in “Miracle” and brought the real smash-mouth world of mixed martial arts to the big screen with “Warrior.” Mark Ciardi—himself an ex-MLB pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers—contributes another layer to the sports connection and adds this film to a solid list of sports flicks he has also had a hand in producing which include “Invincible,” “McFarland, USA,” and “Miracle,” fittingly.
Affleck—another co-producer on the movie—stars alongside Janina Gavankar (“The Mysteries of Laura” & “Sleepy Hollow), Al Madrigal (“The Daily Show” & “About A Boy”), Hayes MacArthur (“Angie Tribeca”), and Rachael Carpani (“Against the Wall”).
Here’s the synopsis:
The film centers on a former basketball all-star who has lost his wife and family foundation in a struggle with addiction. He attempts to regain his soul and salvation by becoming the coach of a disparate, ethnically mixed high school basketball team at his alma mater.
“The Way Back”—distributed by Warner Bros.—is set to premiere in the U.S. on March 6, 2020. Maybe this is indeed the comeback trail for Ben Affleck. Check out the trailer below. Additionally, quick musical nerd check moment: FYI, the song in the trailer, “Heavenly Father,” by Bon Iver, is live performance rather than the recorded version, which you can hear below