Would you be surprised to hear Sam Raimi and Oscar nominee in the same sentence? Well, it could happen in the near future. Variety reports that Raimi has nabbed the director's chair for the big-screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel The Given Day.

Two of Lehane's novels have already hit the big screen with critical success -- Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone. Martin Scorsese will no doubt make it a threesome when he releases Shutter Island.


Set to be released on bookshelves in September, The Given Day is set in a riotous 1919 Boston, where returning WWI soldiers have brought with them an epidemic of Spanish influenza. In addition, attempts to unionize the city police department sets the stage for a historic strike. Two police officers take center stage -- but as to what role they play, I guess we will have to wait for the book to find out. I confess, I Wiki'd the Boston Police Strike and see no mention of two cops leading the way -- but presumably, Calvin Coolidge will play a part in the story.

Raimi has toyed with Oscar gold before, when A Simple Plan garnered its fair share of nominations. Surely, if a Lehane novel can bring Ben Affleck back into critical acclaim, it can do the same for Raimi. It will be really interesting to see him tackle a historical film, as we all know he has a pretty big scope. This also reunites him with Columbia, so it could mean something for Spider-Man 4. It could be the rest he's looking for (though directing a 1919 police strike hardly seems relaxing), or it could be how they're luring him back. We shall soon see.