I’m happy to live in a world where Ben Affleck is beloved again. (That sounds hideously hipster — “I liked him when he was unpopular, sighhh.” — but he was one of those fellows I thought got an awfully raw deal.) He’s doing fantastic things behind the camera, but he’s not neglecting an appearance or two in front of it either. He’s picked an interesting, high profile picture to (possibly) appear in.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck is considering joining Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby as Tom Buchanan. It would be a wonderful role for him, and one Affleck could infuse with a good deal of the pain and anger of his Bennifer years. Buchanan is a man whose glory days are behind him — a space Affleck has certainly been told he was in. I’d love to see him dig in and unleash the performance all those years off denied him.
I’m probably engaging in a lot of tabloid spin, but it’s too easy to imagine. Perhaps it’s a little more kind to say that Affleck’s interest in politics and history would also lend itself well to this film and his performance. As you remember from English class (or Cliff Notes), The Great Gatsby is a scathing commentary on a gilded age, and all too applicable to today. (I really want to believe that’s why Luhrmann is shooting it in 3D. Ironic 3D. It has to be, right?)
The problem is one of scheduling. Affleck is readying his next directorial effort, the political thriller Argo, and it may clash against Gatsby. Everyone hopes it can work out though, and probably none more so than we humble audience members. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck all together, dancing the Charleston, and drinking themselves insensible in a cloud of ennui. I can see it already and it’s brilliant.
(Or awful. Australia was neat on paper, too.)