Ben Affleck's latest directorial effort, Argo, opens this weekend, and the reviews have been very strong indeed. It's easy to see why Warner Bros. may have wanted to double down on Ben and hire him to direct their Justice League movie, as recent rumors suggested was the case. But with all the acclaim Ben's received for his work behind the camera, one might overlook that Argo is also his latest release as an actor. Oh yeah, remember Ben Affleck the actor? While his hair is pretty shaggy in Argo it seems like the real source of his strength as a performer is his work as an auteur; he's never better than when he's written and/or directed the material he's performing. He's taken his lumps as an actor (or, at least, one gigantic lump called Gigli) but he is still a great screen presence with many good years ahead of him.
So maybe it stands to reason then that the latest Ben Affleck news has him signed on to star in Focus, a con-man story written and directed by the team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The story sounds like a slightly more tongue-in-cheek version of a film Affleck might direct himself, and should be a good time for all. Other Affleck performances to look forward to include Runner, Runner, a Koppelman/Levien project about offshore gambling intrigues that is also right in Ben's wheelhouse, and then To the Wonder, which is a Terrance Malick movie—so who cares what it's about, you just say yes. Affleck has been represented by WME's Patrick Whitesell since the beginning, and together they have created a rather phenomenal career (Whitesell also represents Matt Damon, naturally). These latest deals should have them feeling pretty good.
On to an actor of less renown though no less talent: Titus Welliver has been cast as one of the leads in the TNT pilot The Last Ship. It's a natural seque from Affleck to Welliver, as Titus gave one of his most memorable performances in Ben's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, and has had smaller roles in both subsequent Affleck films, including Argo. Welliver is a great unsung character actor, and we wish him the best. He's represented by Paradigm's Chris Schmidt and Michael Garnett at Leverage Management.