The Netflix thriller Triple Frontier will need to find a new leading man, as star Ben Affleck has reportedly decided to bow out of the film for personal reasons. The production has already gone through multiple tumultuous episodes, including being dropped by Paramount and losing leading men Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum.
The Hurt Locker writer Mark Boal penned the original screenplay for Triple Frontier, an action thriller set in the jungles of South America in a border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil (hence the title). The Most Violent Year director J.C. Chandor has been tabbed to direct and also reportedly did some rewrites on Boal’s original script. Concerns about Chandor’s rewrites were reportedly responsible for Hardy and Tatum electing to exit just as filming was about to begin, but the production seemed to be back on good footing when Netflix came in to pick up the ball and got Ben Affleck to star (after they also pursued his brother Casey).
As reported by Deadline, Affleck has now become the latest big-name star to take a pass on Triple Frontier, with personal reasons being cited for the decision. Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali remains attached to the project which reportedly will go on, with Netflix now searching for a new cast.
Triple Frontier has endured a long and somewhat tortured development history going back to 2010. Tom Hanks was at one time attached to star in the former Paramount production, and later Johnny Depp was in the running to take on a leading role. Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow was at one point reportedly at the helm of the project as well.
Affleck’s decision to leave Triple Frontier comes as the actor once again finds himself the subject of tabloid headlines for his relationship with SNL producer Lindsay Shookus. Earlier this year Affleck reportedly completed a stint in alcohol rehab, this on the heels of his big budget gangster film Live By Night flopping at the box office.
In addition to his personal travails, Affleck has suffered some rather serious professional setbacks as well. At one time he was set to write, direct and star in The Batman for Warner Bros., but the studio ultimately elected to remove him from the director’s chair in favor of Matt Reeves, a move that briefly led to speculation about Affleck potentially ditching the role of Batman entirely (he decided to stay). Recently it was reported that Affleck’s script for The Batman has also been tossed, with Reeves electing to start over completely from scratch. Affleck reportedly still plans to show up for SDCC to promote this fall’s Justice League film, in which he again plays The Caped Crusader.
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