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No 'Great Gatsby' for Ben Affleck

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UPDATE: Alas, Ben Affleck will be unable to appear in Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby."

Despite a valiant attempt to align everyone's schedules, it ends up that Affleck is committed to direct "Argo" in the Middle East whilst Luhrmann is in Australia shooting "Gatsby," according to Deadline.

No word yet on who Luhrmann may be courting for the role of Tom Buchanan now that Affleck is out of the running. Isla Fisher, who will be playing Tom's lover, Myrtle, is just going to have to wait to see who her man is going to be.

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There was a time when Ben Affleck was the go-to, hot shot actor producers chased down for every thankless action role and reasonably juicy drama that could use a swift injection of young and handsome. "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "Shakespeare in Love"  -- all decent flicks, but nothing to solidify him as a leading man.

The slew of one-note performances took a toll on the actor, who eventually went behind the camera where he really it his prime, directing the critically acclaimed "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town," which garnered co-star Jeremy Renner an Oscar nom. Now Affleck is back on top, once again a hot commodity in Hollywood, and according to Deadline, he may be prepping his return to acting in an equally prestigious film.

Affleck is currently circling the role of Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrrman's 3-D adaptation of the classic book "The Great Gatsby," which is currently prepping to shoot down in Australia this summer.

The site reports that joining the film could be a tricky proposition for the actor -- he has his own film "Argo," based on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, in the works and his involvement in "Gatsby" could come down to scheduling. Affleck would join an already impressive ensemble of Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Leonardo Dicaprio as the mysterious titular millionaire, giving him all the more reason to make the deal work.

Let's cross our fingers Affleck decides to take the jump back into acting under other people's direction -- we like being reminded that he has more range than "angry Bostonian."

"Gatsby" is set to roll cameras this summer, meaning this one might land just in time for the 2012 Oscar season.

(Originally published on Thursday, April 8, 2011 at 10:25 a.m. EST)

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