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The Instigators - What We Know So Far

They've yet to make the same industry-shaking impact as streamers like Netflix or Amazon Studios. Still, Apple TV+ continues to produce and release quality films and series on par with those competitors. Assuming they keep cranking out lauded projects like "Ted Lasso," and "Severance," crashing the Oscars with unexpected hits like "CODA," and high-profile landing productions like Martin Scorsese's Leonardo DiCaprio-fronted "Killers of the Flower Moon," Apple TV+ and Apple Original Films may soon be eclipsing that competition.

As it is, the streamer has just lined up another major film project in the early stages of production. It's called "The Instigators." And it heads into the Apple Original Films production pipeline boasting all kinds of A-list Hollywood talent both in front of and behind the camera. Though it has yet to shoot a single frame of footage, many are already positing it among the streamer's most anticipated movies. Here's everything we know so far about "The Instigators."

When will The Instigators be released?

Before we get too far, we'll say there's been no official word from Apple Original Films regarding when "The Instigators" will make its Apple TV+ debut. Given the announcement's timing, it's safe to assume the film is not headed for the cameras before the calendar flips to 2023. That being the case, it would be shocking if "The Instigators" hit the platform in 2023, with a 2024 release seeming the more likely scenario.

With a potentially lengthy wait ahead to see "The Instigators," you should know there are some good reasons to remain excited about the film, and many of them are indeed working behind the scenes. Per a recent Deadline report, that includes a producing team of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who is guiding "The Instigators" through production via their Artists Equity production shingle. They'll do so alongside Damon's "Manchester by the Sea" partner Kevin Walsh and Studio 8 bosses Jeff Robinov and John Graham. Perhaps even more exciting is that the new film has also been written by "City on a Hill" mastermind Chuck MacLean, and will be directed by "The Bourne Identity" and "Edge of Tomorrow" helmer Doug Liman.  

Who will be in The Instigators

As you likely noticed, there are a lot of personal and professional connections between the behind-the-scenes talent on "The Instigators." Those connections carry over to the on-screen talent as well. And according to Deadline, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck are indeed on board to star in the new film. Damon and Affleck have, of course, shared the screen often in their careers, appearing together with Ben Affleck in "Good Will Hunting," fronting Gus Van Sant's harrowing 2002 indie "Gerry," and sharing scenes as part of the star-studded ensemble in the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. The pair last worked together when Damon produced "Manchester by the Sea," for which Affleck won the Academy Award for best actor.

"The Instigators" will also see Damon re-teaming with Doug Liman for the first time since they kicked off the Jason Bourne franchise with 2002's "The Bourne Identity." The pair will no doubt be hoping for similar success when they put "The Instigators" into the world. As of this writing, no further casting news has been made for the film. But with production ramping up, more casting announcements should be coming sooner rather than later. 

What is The Instigators about?

With a supremely talented crew lining up behind the camera, and a pair of legit A-listers on board to star, you can understand why "The Instigators" has become one of the more highly-touted projects on Apple Original Films' release slate. The question now becomes what exactly Matt Damon and Casey Affleck will do in the film. While not much is explicitly known about the plot of "The Instigators," according to Deadline, the pair will be playing criminals in the movie.

More specifically, Damon and Affleck will play a pair of thieves forced to go on the run with one of their therapists when a heist goes wrong. It's not immediately clear if "The Instigators" is set up as a gritty crime drama or a kooky, criminals-on-the-run-styled comedy. The good news is that Damon and Affleck can carry the load on either front, with each proving themselves more than capable of scoring laughs, tears, and jeers over the courses of their respective careers. The same can be said of Liman, who was the best know for helming the classic 1996 comedy "Swingers" before he went the way of action film aficionado. 

Still, as it stands, a lot may be riding on the casting of the therapist who gets stuck on the run with the pair. 'Cause if that person doesn't pull their weight, "The Instigators" could quickly become an epic misfire for everyone involved.