Ben Affleck on Why He Directed The Town and Why He Won't Be Directing Superman
11.29.10 by Ryan
Since winning the Oscar for co-writing 2007's Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck has had a career filled with highlights (Shakespeare in Love), lowlights (Gigli), and, with movies like Armageddon, arguably both. Sometime after the Gigli debacle, Affleck decided to reinvent himself as a director, striking critical success with 2007's Gone Baby Gone. His latest, the Boston-set crime drama The Town, saw Affleck not only direct but star as well and was another critical success that also won its opening weekend in September (earning $141 million worldwide). In an interview with Deadline, Affleck explained what attracted him to the project.
My first thought was, I really wanted to play the role. But I was concerned that the overlap between this and the other movie I directed would be too much, and that I ran the risk of getting pigeonholed for making crime movies in Boston... I felt intimidated and daunted by that challenge, but felt, if I could execute it right, I’d put myself in a position to be able to make movies that I am really interested and attracted to. That is a rare thing in Hollywood. Mostly we’re just schmucks limited by our options.
After the success of The Town, Affleck was an "option" for the high-profile directing job of Warner Bros.' upcoming Superman reboot. The job eventually went to Zack Snyder.
The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money. With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’d love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies.
Currently, Affleck is back at work as an actor, appearing in the Untitled Terence Malick Project with, appropriately, director Terrence Malick. Described as a "powerful and moving love story," the movie finishes shooting in Oklahoma this month. A set photo was discovered in September, revealing actress Olga Kurylenko but not much else.