We previously reported that Ben Affleck was in contention to play Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby, but as of today the actor/director has opted out of that production. Deadline says that Affleck, who's coming off a great year with The Company Men and The Town, will instead make his next feature himself. That project is Argo (once titled Escape From Tehran), which is based on a Wired magazine article about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis where the CIA teamed up with Hollywood filmmakers to free the captives. George Clooney and Grant Heslov will produce Argo through their Smokehouse Productions banner, heating up my anticipation for the movie even more. Chris Terrio wrote the screenplay.
Though Argo sounds much more interesting than another take on a classic novel, as I've said before Affleck would've been a great fit for the Buchanan role, so this is a bittersweet development for Luhrmann's film. Still, he has plenty of worthy star power with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan locked. And it's wise of Affleck to keep his momentum as a filmmaker going. After two well-received efforts, why not keep directing? I'm looking forward to both films.