If you’ve been keeping tabs on Ben Affleck and his high-profile relationship with No Time To Die and Knives Out actress Ana de Armas, you probably saw Affleck just whiling away and waiting on his beau while she filmed in Malibu a few days ago. Lest you think he’s just spending his time supporting her these days, we recently learned Affleck himself was supposed to be filming a movie right now.
There’s been a lot of talk about movies resuming filming with new safety protocols, but many of these movies that have gotten off of the ground again are films that are being shot outside of the U.S. This has left some U.S.-based movies effectively grounded or at least looking to find new studio to film in elsewhere, including a flick starring Ben Affleck that was five weeks away from shooting last spring when the shutdown occurred.
Ben Affleck was supposed to film a new movie in Los Angeles, per a New York Times report looking at the state of the industry right now. In it, it details that when the pandemic came around, it became clear that LA County’s testing capacity was “too low” for the movie to get rolling there. Instead, the production looked to Austin and is now looking at London to move forward.
The flick in question is unlikely to be The Last Duel, as that high-profile movie was already shooting in France and other locations when the shutdown started. Disney shut down production on that movie, which also stars Matt Damon (in a rare reunion with Affleck), Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, on March 13. It has since had its release date shifted into Hamilton’s old slot on October 15, 2021.
Ben Affleck also has his next directorial effort Ghost Army coming up, along with Robert Rodriguez’s movie Hypnotic and the remake of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution. It’s Hypnotic that is likely being touched on in the NY Times report, though it’s not explicitly stated.
That’s because the new report touches on the movie having shifted from Los Angeles to Austin before Austin became a Covid-19 hotspot. In fact, in June of 2020, it was reported that Hypnotic planned to shift from California to Texas in July, which would have resulted in $24 million spent in the state, per the Austin Chronicle. Obviously, through a series of unfortunate events, this hasn’t happened. Mark Gill, producer for Hypnotic’s Solstice Studios, is also cited in the article.
Instead of filming, Ben Affleck keeps getting caught by the paparazzi smoking on balconies while Ana De Armas works in Malibu. As pretty as that setting is, I’d guess many people would be champing at the bit to get back to work at this point. Things are ever-changing, particularly with Hollywood projects right now, and patience is certainly the name of the game. Yet, given Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas’ penchant for spending time together, who knows if he's pumped about getting back to the grind?