Ben Affleck is playing the good-guy and cool uncle in the upcoming movie The Tender Bar, based on the best-selling book of the same name. Affleck plays uncle to a young boy named J.R., played by Tye Sheridan, whose father is, as Ben Affleck’s Charlie so eloquently puts it, “a deadbeat.” As a result, the first trailer for The Tender Bar sees Ben Affleck’s character take the young boy under his wing in order to teach him the “male sciences.”
Fortunately for the boy, Ben Affleck isn’t alone in this endeavor. Charlie works at a bar in Long Island where he lets J.R. hang out tossing back as much soda as he’d like. All the while, he and the other patrons encourage him to follow his dreams. After his straight-shooting uncle gently informs him that he’s not very good at sports, J.R. begins reading and eventually gets bitten by the writing bug. Fortunately, he doesn’t suck at it. The trailer shifts in time and it’s revealed that J.R. was good enough to get accepted into Yale. What follows is a story about a young man torn between his humble upbringing, his massive ambition and the knowledge that he’s destined for more than the quiet, comfortable life in Long Island he could so easily have.
The movie is based on the bestselling memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winner J.R. Moehringer’s about his own life facing similar trials and tribulations within his family. According to The Daily Beast, The Tender Bar also explores his struggle with alcoholism and his journey to sobriety. His poignant writing led him to be tapped to write biographies like Andre Agassi’s Open and Nike founder Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog. Most recently, he was tapped by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to ghostwrite his autobiography, making the adaptation of The Tender Bar with Ben Affleck just one of the many recent exciting moments in the author’s career.
Joining Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan in the movie are J.R.’s struggling mother, played by Lily Rabe and his grumpy and profane grandfather, played by Christopher Lloyd. Although it’s based on Moehringer’s memoir, it was adapted for the screen by none other than Oscar-winner William Monahan, who previously wrote the screenplay to hits like The Gambler and The Departed.
The film also marks Ben Affleck’s second collaboration with George Clooney, who stepped into the director’s chair after previously helming the science-fiction drama The Midnight Sky for Netflix in 2020.
In addition to them both being Batman, George Clooney previously worked as an executive producer on Ben Affleck’s foray into the world of directing when he helmed (and starred in) Argo in 2012, according to Entertainment Weekly. That film went on to win best picture at the 2013 Academy Awards and it’s not unreasonable to think that The Tender Bar could go on to similar success once it’s released in December. After a limited theatrical release, it will then go on to be streamable on the Amazon Prime Video platform.