‘The Town’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

We separate the A-list good guys from the bad in Ben Affleck's gritty Boston heist flick.

Before you set out to the multiplex to see this week’s gritty bank-heist flick “The Town,” MTV News has you covered with an insider-y look at Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort, following his critically praised work on “Gone Baby Gone.”

Based on Chuck Hogan’s novel “Prince of Thieves,” the story revolves around the relationship between bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) and the career criminal who “stole more than her heart,” Doug McCray (Affleck). Rounding out the triangle is FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm), who is determined to bring Affleck’s crook and his gang to justice.

From the announcement of the star-studded cast to a glimpse at how the city of Boston embraced the production, here’s everything you need to know about “The Town.”

The A-list cast was announced in July 2009, first with news of the addition of Hall and “Mad Men” hunk Hamm, followed by “Gossip Girl” ingénue Blake Lively and, finally, “Hurt Locker” star Jeremy Renner.

Production began in Boston that September, and the celebrity cast quickly became the talk of Beantown, with the paparazzi shots to prove it. Photographers popped up, in particular, when filming was under way in public places.

Once shooting wrapped, so did any news about “The Town,” until nine months later when the first trailer dropped. Shortly thereafter, Affleck’s much-buzzed about film was announced as part of the esteemed lineup for the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.

MTV News was lucky enough to attend the fest, where we sat down with a few of the castmembers. We couldn’t help but veer slightly off-topic, since all of the stars had a slew of highly anticipated projects on the way, including Ben Affleck’s “The Trade,” Jeremy Renner in “The Avengers” and Blake Lively in “Green Lantern.”

As for Lively, she nimbly dodged our challenge Ben Affleck-vs.-Matt Damon .

Will you go see “The Town”? Among the cast, whose projects are you most excited about?

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Town.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.