Ben Affleck and the production team behind family drama Gone Baby Gone are to take another bestseller to the screen.

The Good Will Hunting star made his full-length directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name.

And after co-scripting the big-screen version of Lehane's book with screenwriter Aaron Stockard - a former assistant to Matt Damon - Affleck will produce a movie version of Marcus Sakey's debut novel The Blade Itself alongside Sean Bailey.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Miramax has bought to the rights to Sakey's book, which was named as one of the five best novels of 2007 by Esquire magazine.

The Blade Itself tells of two childhood friends who forged a reputation as petty thieves before choosing different paths in later life. When the pair reunite, one is forced to consider desperate measures to protect the dark secrets of his past.

"We had a great experience working with Sean, Ben and Aaron and look forward to continuing our relationship with this new one," Miramax president of production Keri Putnam commented, after the deal for The Blade Itself was announced.

Despite huge critical acclaim, Gone Baby Gone has not yet received a UK release date, as its tale of two private investigators hunting for a missing four-year-old girl was deemed inappropriate for British audiences in light of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

11/03/2008 12:51:41