News Nuggets: How Ben Affleck missed out on being part of ‘Homeland’

Ben Affleck on missing the boat on Showtime’s “Homeland“: “During his acceptance speech at the Artios Awards in Los Angeles Monday, Oct. 29, the ‘Argo‘ actor/director revealed he felt obligated to pass on the opportunity to direct episodes of Showtime’s hit ‘Homeland’ — because of an agreement with wife Jennifer Garner … ‘I liked the show. I signed on. The guys were ready. I don’t want to blame it on “her,” but my wife and I have an arrangement where when she works, I don’t work and when I work, she doesn’t work,’ Affleck shared. ‘She said, “I have this movie, it’s 10 weeks, it’s in Atlanta.” I said, “Okay, forget it. I’m sure nothing will happen with it anyway.”‘” US WEEKLY

Is director Paul Thomas Anderson the frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay? “Of the Best Picture hopefuls, Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master‘ is looking good, even as its chances at the big prize fade somewhat. After all, even those who don’t think the film works as a whole must acknowledge that it features some of the most memorable scenes of the year — the early questioning sequence between Lancaster and Freddie is the kind of moment that should get taught in screenwriting classes for years to come.” INDIEWIRE

Jon Weisman discusses how shifting Oscar dates alter the business of film: “At the most high-stakes level, the early dates have intensified the risk-reward riddle of an Oscar campaign. A nominated film will have 45 days to bask in the publicity-filled glow of its nomination before the Feb. 24 Academy Awards, the longest period this century and 12 days more than the year before. ‘If you’re in the business of distributing movies solely at the end of the year to get awards recognition, because without it they’re not going anywhere, then you’ll benefit if you’re nominated, because you’ll make more money in those (extra) two weekends than you would otherwise,’ one kudos consultant says.” VARIETY

“Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” voted Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards: “The role-playing game beat the likes of ‘Modern Warfare 3,’ ‘Diablo 3’ and ‘Mass Effect 3’ to the prize. ‘Skyrim’ also picked up the ‘Best RPG’ award and the ‘Top Gaming Moment’ for its Throat of the World sequence. Elsewhere, the Digital Spy-sponsored ‘Action/Adventure’ award was won by ‘Batman: Arkham City,’ while ‘Battlefield 3’ was deemed the ‘Best Shooter’ … This year’s Golden Joystick Awards have smashed voting records, doubling the number of votes cast for last year’s awards.” DIGITAL SPY

George Clooney fills the cast of his upcoming World War II drama with Oscar favorites: “How many Oscar nominees can you fit into one cast? Okay, Daniel Craig, you’ll get there, but in addition to the ‘Skyfall‘ actor, director George Clooney has filled out the cast of his World War II drama ‘The Monuments Men‘ with Cate Blanchett (‘The Aviator’), Bill Murray (‘Lost in Translation’) and Jean Dujardin (‘The Artist‘), in addition to John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban …  Deadline reports that the film, based on a true story and written by Clooney and partner Grant Heslov, tells of a crew of art historians and museum curators who scrambled to recover renown works of art stolen by the Nazi regime, destined to be destroyed.” IN CONTENTION

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