Scott Cooper to Replace Ben Affleck as Director of Stephen King Adaptation THE STAND

     August 23, 2013

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When Warner Bros. announced last night that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up, the future of Affleck’s incredibly successful directorial career was thrown into question.  Presumably Affleck will  be getting a standalone Batman film in the near future, and he’s all but guaranteed to star in Justice League (which he might even end up directing).  It now appears that the first directorial casualty of Affleck donning the cape and cowl has surfaced, as word comes that Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper is in talks to replace him as the writer and director of Warner Bros.’ feature film adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Stand.

Hit the jump for more, including the status of Affleck’s other directorial projects.

the-stand-book-coverA feature film adaptation of The Stand has been in the works at WB for quite a while now, with Harry Potter director David Yates initially flirting with the project as his first film after completing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Yates subsequently backed out of the project, and Warner Bros. tapped Affleck to write and direct the film in 2011.  The filmmaker has been talking enthusiastically about the project over the past few years, but he recently admitted that he was having a tough time cracking the adaptation, comparing it to The Lord of the Rings in America.

Now THR reports that Affleck has officially withdrawn from the project due to unavailability, and Crazy Heart writer/director Scott Cooper will take a crack at it as he is in talks to rewrite and direct the adaptation.  This one remains a big priority for Warner Bros., and the studio has to move fast before they lose the rights to King’s book.  Cooper is an incredibly exciting young filmmaker, and his latest film, the drama Out of the Furnace, stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck and opens in theaters later this fall.  He’s attached to direct a number of other projects at the moment, but one imagines The Stand will be at the top of his list.

As for Affleck’s next directorial project, he was supposed to begin production on his Argo follow-up Live by Night this fall, but he decided to push it to next year in order to star in David Fincher’s Gone Girl.  Now that he has signed on to Snyder’s superhero movie (slated for a summer 2015 release), The Wrap reports that Live by Night has unfortunately been delayed “significantly.”  Hopefully Affleck is able to pick that one up after he completes filming on the Batman/Superman movie.  The Wrap also notes that Affleck has dropped out of directing Tell No One completely.

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