Ben Affleck has dropped out of Netflix's Triple Frontier "to take some time to focus on his wellness and his family," Deadline reported Tuesday; the movie will move forward without him.
Director J.C. Chandor's film has been in the works since 2009; it was originally envisioned as Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to her Oscar-winning movie The Hurt Locker. Paramount and actors Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum dropped out in April, weeks before production began. After they abandoned the project, Netflix picked up the film, and Ben was first attached in May.
Mark Boal (of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty fame) wrote the screenplay, set in the converging border territory of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The high-profile project has attracted some major actors over the years, including Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks and Will Smith.
Ben previously stepped down as director of Warner Bros.' The Batman in January to focus on portraying the superhero onscreen; he will remain a producer on the project. "There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require," he said in a statement. "Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world." He will promote his next big movie, Justice League, at San Diego Comic-Con later this weekend.
In a number of ways, 2017 has been a year of personal growth for the Oscar-winning director. In March, Ben announced he had recently finished another stint in rehab. "I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be," the actor wrote on Facebook. "I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step."
Ben and Jennifer Garner called it quits in 2015, but they didn't file for divorce until this spring; the exes share three children: Violet Affleck, 11, Seraphina Affleck, 8, and Samuel Affleck, 5. Ben is now dating Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, whom he first met years ago. On Sunday in St. Paul, Ben received the 2017 Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala Humanitarian Award for his work with Eastern Congo Initiative, a charitable organization he founded in 2010.