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Affleck to Replace Norton in “State of Play”

By Franck Tabouring

Ben Affleck is in final negotiations to replace Edward Norton in Kevin Macdonald’s upcoming drama “State of Play,” according to Variety.

Norton exited the film earlier this week due to a schedule conflict, becoming the second cast member to leave the project. Last month, Brad Pitt unexpectedly pulled out, causing production of the movie to be delayed until January. Russell Crowe later signed on to replace Pitt.

Based on the popular BBC miniseries of the same title, “Play” focuses on an investigative reporter who struggles to solve the mysterious murder of a congressman’s mistress. Affleck is set to take over the role of the politician, while Crowe will be playing the journalist investigating the case.

Also on board are Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn, who joined the cast last September.

Macdonald, who helmed “Touching the Void” and “The Last King of Scotland,” is directing a script by Billy Ray and Matthew Michael Carnahan. Carnahan’s recent writing credits include “The Kingdom” and “Lions for Lambs.”

Ben Affleck most recently directed the critically acclaimed drama “Gone Baby Gone.” He just wrapped filming the Ken Kwapis-directed comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

Crowe was last seen opposite Denzel Washington in “American Gangster” and is currently filming “Body of Lies,” a drama directed by Ridley Scott.

Posted by Franck on December 19, 2007 2:29 PM
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Too bad on Norton. Affleck can't hold his jockstrap, as they say, and this story needs a strong lead. I just finished watching the Brit original, and though it doesn't need to be remade (as is the case with virtually every Brit show which gets Hollywoodized) since it's going to be it should get top talent.

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