As one can imagine, Ben Affleck is a pretty in-demand guy right now. His third directorial effort, Argo, is a major player in the upcoming awards race, as is Affleck for his stellar work as a director on the timely thriller. Affleck hasn’t given up his day job just yet, though, and he most recently wrapped a starring role opposite Justin Timberlake in the gambling pic Runner Runner. However, it looks like his busy schedule has gotten in the way of at least one of his upcoming projects, as he’s been forced to drop out of starring in the Warner Bros. pic Focus opposite Kristen Stewart. Hit the jump for more on the pic and Affleck’s current schedule.
Affleck was set to star alongside Kristen Stewart in Focus, which centers on a veteran con man who becomes romantically involved with a newcomer to the business. Stewart is still attached to star, and Variety reports that writers/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) are now looking to find a new male lead before the spring start-date. On top of prepping his in-development projects, Affleck is also incredibly busy with the awards circuit for Argo. With the Oscars not taking place until late February, the April start-date on Focus just wasn’t feasible for Affleck and he regrettably had to pull out.
As for his next project, Affleck is focused on the Dennis Lehane novel adaptation Live By Night. He will write, produce, direct, and star in the pic, which takes place in Boston in the roaring ‘20s. He’s also deep in development on an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand for Warner Bros., though Affleck recently admitted that it’s proving to be a struggle to fit the story into one movie. For the long-term, he also continues to develop a Whitey Bulger biopic that he will direct for star Matt Damon.