Ben Affleck ‘Loves’ Kristen Stewart, So Why Did He Exit ‘Focus’?

MTV News caught up with the 'Argo' director to get his take on leaving the yet-to-be filmed project.

Not too long after we expressed our genuine enthusiasm for the news that Ben Affleck had joined the cast of Kristen Stewart’s next film “Focus,” the actor unfortunately had to leave the project.

Why? We weren’t exactly sure at the time, but thanks to a conversation with the “Argo” director at the NBR awards on Tuesday, we now know that he was just too busy.

“Basically I’m doing this movie called “Live By Night” and I’m trying to meet this schedule… so that I can have it released at the right time,” he explained at the event where he picked up a Special Achievement in Filmmaking award for “Argo.” “And basically I haven’t gotten enough writing done; it became clear that if I took that job — it was in Buenos Aires for three months — I’d have to miss the deadline. I had to choose between getting the movie out when I wanted to or doing that movie. Reluctantly I chose the latter but I love those guys, I love Kristen. I was really excited to work with her. I think the movie is going to be fabulous. I’m sure they’ll find a great guy for it.”

“Focus” is the story of a seasoned con man (formerly to be played by Affleck) who takes on an up-and-comer (Stewart) to teach her the ways of a good grift. Writer/director duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”) will write the script and direct the film.

The search for Affleck’s replacement continues before filming begins in April. In the meantime, we’ll see plenty more of Affleck on the awards circuit, the competition for which he doesn’t seem affected by or concerned about.

“I really respect these other filmmakers and try to focus on honestly being glad that I’m here and get invited to stuff like this,” Affleck said of trying not to be too focused on winning.

Who do you think should be casted opposite Stewart in “Focus”? Leave your suggestions in the comments!