Ben Affleck Pulls Out Of Great Gatsby To Direct Argo

By Mack Rawden 2011-04-19 16:45:50discussion comments
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Hopefully you didn't get too used to the idea of Ben Affleck as Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's high profile Great Gatsby adaptation. The popular actor and affable everyman has been forced to pull out due to stress associated with the Boston Red Sox's 5-10 record. Joking aside, Affleck has actually left the production, but it has nothing to do with baseball. He signed on to direct Argo, a retelling of the Iran Hostage Crisis, awhile back and because of the Australian location on Gatsby, there's just no way to make the projects line up.

With Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan already on board, the film was shaping up to be one of the bigger blockbusters of the season. Affleck's exodus shouldn't affect its budget, but it does slightly alter my excitement level. He may not be the greatest actor in the world, but he seemed perfect to play the philandering Tom Buchanan. That's not to say I don't agree with Affleck's decision making though. He's much better behind the director's chair. I'm sure Argo will be wonderful, it's just unfortunate he can't do both.

According to Deadline, Luhrmann may turn to an Australian actor to fill Affleck's shoes in order to receive a tax credit from the government, but with auditions yet to be held, there's no way to substantiate whether this would simply be an added bonus or is an actual factor in the search. With so much name recognition still in play, the casting choice should come down to the best available actor, but should and will are two entirely different helping verbs.

The Great Gatsby follows Nick, an outsider of an affluent neighborhood, who witnesses the struggles of a husband and wife after a mysterious stranger from her past pops back in their lives. The F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is widely considered to be one of the best ever written. It's been adapted three times before, most recently in a well-received 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
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