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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 12:03 GMT
Affleck joins State of Play cast
Ben Affleck
Affleck was up for a Golden Globe this year for Hollywoodland
Ben Affleck is to replace Edward Norton in the film version of BBC TV drama State of Play - the second major cast change for the political thriller.

Affleck will take on the role of a US congressman embroiled in a conspiracy after Norton asked to leave the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Actor Brad Pitt pulled out in November, to be replaced by Russell Crowe.

Shooting was scheduled to begin before the end of the year but has since been put back to January.

The delay led Norton to withdraw from the film so he could honour a prior commitment to appear in Leaves of Grass, a comedy directed by fellow actor Tim Blake Nelson.

Legal action

Directed by Kevin Macdonald of The Last King of Scotland fame, State of Play also stars Dame Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Jason Bateman.

The original TV series - about a team of journalists investigating the mysterious death of a political researcher - starred John Simm, Bill Nighy and David Morrissey.

Pitt's departure, reportedly due to script concerns, was said to have prompted distributor Universal to consider legal action against the star.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Macdonald flew to Australia to persuade Crowe to fill his shoes.

SEE ALSO
Crowe 'steps in' on State of Play
04 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Pitt leaves State of Play movie
22 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Norton 'lands State of Play role'
12 Sep 07 |  Entertainment

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