Affleck gets his Baby duo

Ben hires "hot young cast" for directorial debut

Clawing his way back to Kudostown after a wrong turn down Crap Street, Ben Affleck has hired some stars for his first stab at directing. He’s adapting Dennis Lehane’s novel Gone, Baby, Gone, a dark story of private eyes investigating a missing child in a dodgy neighbourhood.

And he’s grabbed current hot lady Michelle Monaghan, who lit up the screen in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and will soon be seen as Tom Cruise’s love interest in Mission Impossible III.

The other choice probably didn’t need much convincing; Casey Affleck is, after all, Ben’s little brother, and will be playing a detective alongside Monaghan. Affleck the elder has been spilling his guts about his casting choices: "In keeping with Miramax tradition, I was instructed to find the 'hottest young stars around' to cast in the movie," he jaws. "I got a list of two names: Michelle Monaghan and Casey Affleck. I was lucky enough to get them both."

And his easygoing relationship with Miramax means that he can poke a little lighthearted fun at his paymasters. "I am a first-time director given an opportunity to pursue an artistic ambition I would not likely have the chance to elsewhere. The budget is excruciatingly tight, I am regularly abused and I expect to be fired sometime before we shoot. It's nice to see that, at Miramax, continuity has been maintained."

Note to Ben: let’s wait and see the film before you start the jokes about being fired, Mmkay?