Many (myself included) are still reeling from the fact that somehow Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director during this morning Oscar nominations announcements, but I have little doubt that we’ll be hearing Affleck’s name as a major part of an awards season race again soon. Argo was his most accomplished work yet, and eyes are now looking to what he’ll be directing as his next project.
We recently heard that Affleck was eyeing an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 1920s Boston crime drama Live By Night as his next effort, and during a recent interview Affleck confirmed that he’s currently working on the screenplay as he readies the pic to be his next film. He also took a moment to explain why he had to drop out of starring in the drama Focus with Kristen Stewart. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Speaking with MTV, Affleck revealed that it was actually his commitment to Live By Night that forced him to drop out of Focus:
“Basically I’m doing a movie called Live By Night and I’m trying to meet this schedule in order to do it, in order to meet the back end so that I can have it released at the right time, and I just hadn’t gotten enough writing done and it became clear that if I took that job and was in Buenos Aires for three months, I was gonna miss the deadline. I had to choose between getting the movie out when I want to or doing this one, so reluctantly I chose the [former]. But I love those guys, I love Kristen, I was really excited to work with her, I think the movie’s gonna be fabulous, and I’m sure they’ll find a great guy for it.”
So it sounds like Affleck is determined to get Live By Night going sooner rather than later, which lead to him backing out of Focus. I’m not sure what release schedule he’s trying to meet, but a period crime drama from Affleck will most definitely be a part of an awards conversation, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he was aiming to start filming later this year for a fall 2014 release. Watch the full video interview via MTV below.