A couple months ago, it all made sense.
Warner Bros., intent on keeping the money train fueled by the "Harry Potter" franchise churning down the tracks decides to greenlight a three-film adaptation of Stephen King's classic post-apocalyptic novel "The Stand". The book centers around a deadly airborne virus that wipes out most of humanity, leaving survivors to choose between camps of good and evil, and rebuild what's left of society.
Fans rejoiced - especially upon hearing the news that David Yates, the man responsible for the last four, box office-crushing "Harry Potter" films, was in negotiations to direct. Even better, Steve Kloves — who adapted seven of the eight novels for film — was slated to write the screenplays.
Today? Suddenly Ben Affleck is at the top of the list to take over "The Stand".
According to Deadline, the 39-year-old is the studio's top choice to direct the trilogy - which makes me really wonder what happened to the deal with Yates. Not that Affleck is green to the job, having directed both critically-acclaimed flicks "The Town" and "Gone Baby Gone" (and currently helming "Argo") - but this is a massive project; one that Stephen King himself has expressed worry might not translate well to the silver screen.
"You absolutely can’t make it as a two-hour movie," he told Entertainment Weekly back in February. "If it was a trilogy of films…maybe." As for the visual translation, he has more optimism. "Historically speaking, movie studios blow the budget on things like this, so maybe it’ll be fun to look at. The dough certainly isn’t going to me, although if it is a trilogy, and if it makes a lot of money, I might be able to buy a chicken dinner at Popeye’s. Great slaw!"
And if Affleck takes the gig, who should play the main character of Stu Redman? King has some insight into that one as well, though he believes one actor has already deliveried the ultimate potrayal.
"No one will be able to top Gary Sinise, who played Stu Redman in the original ABC miniseries," he wrote. "He was perfect. When he says “You don’t know nothing” to the soldiers who are putting him under mandatory quarantine, you believe his contempt completely. My runner-up pick would be Jake Gyllenhaal."