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Ben Affleck is too busy doing Batman exercises to direct any of the movies he was supposed to do

As the world continues to reel from the announcement that Ben Affleck will play Batman—staggering into the streets to erupt in randomly flung fisticuffs with no particular target, just the unfocused rage and confusion that need find its purpose somewhere—the news has had some other, actual effects on real things and people. For one thing, Affleck has already entered into an intense workout routine according to US Weekly (who one imagines has a special phone that rings with such news), with the actor reportedly spending “two hours a day in the gym” preparing to have the sort of physique that will automatically render moot any criticism of his portrayal. And for another, he’s had to drop out of some non-Batman things, like directing movies. 

Along with The Wrap reporting that Affleck is no longer attached to remake the French thriller Tell No One, and The Playlist speculating that his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night will probably have to be delayed, Deadline says he’s also off his long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. The project, which has already been kicked around for years, is instead now in the hands of Crazy Heart and Out Of The Furnace director Scott Cooper, who will deal with the story of the ultimate shiftless burnout: a scorched, post-apocalyptic Earth. No word on what Cooper’s abs will look like. 

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