Ben Affleck to direct historical drama King Leopold's Ghost

Ben Affleck will also serve as a producer under his Pearl Street Films banner alongside Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Harry and Gina Belafonte.

Ben Affleck is returning to the director's chair for upcoming historical drama King Leopold's Ghost.

According to editors at Deadline, the actor/filmmaker is gearing up to tackle the late 1800's story, set against Belgian King Leopold II's takeover of the Congo, from a script written by Farhad Safinia.

Affleck will also serve as a producer under his Pearl Street Films banner alongside Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Harry and Gina Belafonte.

The story is based on Adam Hochschild's 1998 book King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, which also inspired the 2006 documentary King Leopold's Ghost, directed by Pippa Scott and narrated by Don Cheadle.

It will explore the exploitation of the Congo Free State by King Leopold II between 1885 and 1908, as well as the large-scale atrocities committed during that period.

He extracted a fortune from the territory, initially by the collection of ivory, but later rubber, and used great sums of money for public and private construction projects in his homeland. Millions of Congolese people died, with modern estimates ranging from one million to 15 million deaths.

Affleck, 47, has a history with the region where the film is set - he is a co-founder of the organisation Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), which works to promote economic growth.

The Oscar winner's last outing as director was the critically-panned Live By Night in 2017. He also helmed Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo, and is currently in the pre-production stages of war drama Ghost Army.

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