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Rumor: Ben Affleck's Editor Tried To Save 'Runner Runner' But Did WB Want To Soften The Movie?

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by Kevin Jagernauth
October 9, 2013 12:02 PM
9 Comments
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Last week, "Runner Runner" dropped into theaters, promising the team-up of Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck—with the latter playing a rare villain role—in a thriller about online gambling gone awry. Stars? Check. Hot subject matter? Sure. But it didn't add up to a hit, with the movie crushed in the wake of "Gravity," opening to just over $7 million and earning scathing reviews to go with it. But were people behind the scenes trying to fix it?

According to THR, Affleck brought in William Goldenberg, the Academy Award-winning editor on his three directorial efforts, to assist the credited Jeff McEvoy in assembling a cut. It's not clear exactly what was improved—nothing could've really saved what was ultimately a fairly cliched and uninvolving story—but Goldenberg is said to have at least made things a bit better (which again, seems like a relative term). But were there even more machinations going on?

Latino Review claims that Warner Bros. "pressured" director Brad Furman to "soften" Affleck's character "so audiences wouldn’t hate him," presumably concerned about the reception of his eventual heroic turn in "Batman Vs. Superman." But given that is actually a 20th Century Fox film, something in that equation doesn't make sense, and we don't see WB being able to exert any influence in that regard, because why would Fox care about a rival studio's franchise movie? And considering that the "Man of Steel" sequel is still two years away and Affleck will still have another movie in the interim—David Fincher's "Gone Girl," also for Fox—we somehow doubt WB is tracking his every project until 'Batman.'

Stranger things have happened, we suppose. Either way, in two years, "Runner Runner" will be a faint memory.

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9 Comments

  • Robert | October 17, 2013 9:14 AMReply

    I think the movie is a step in the right direction for the US gambling market. Maybe some us casinos (list here: http://bit.ly/19M1JMD ) get regulated soon.

  • Andrea | October 9, 2013 8:00 PMReply

    Overall, I thought the film was good, but they cut too much out, especially in the Princeton scenes at the beginning. I felt the relationship between Richie and his father wasn't developed enough. They obviously chopped most of their conversation in the bar. We should have seen some more emotion between them. Also, the campus director had insufficient proof that Richie's involvement in gambling was illegal. Later on in the film, the FBI agent said he had a sworn statement, which didn't seem like much of a case, but that all should have been set up better at the beginning. The online poker tournament scene seemed rushed and underplayed, too. Too many character beats were missing in favor of atmosphere.

  • kristen | October 9, 2013 7:15 PMReply

    I very much wanted to like it, Ben playing a villian role is very interesting just the movies script was awful. I understand why Ben did it though. He's very big into gambling so I guess this was just a fun silly movie he threw himself into before a couple years of serious work. I hope he plays a villian again soon though.

  • RaKha | October 9, 2013 4:15 PMReply

    Where are you getting FOX as part of this? WB owns DC Comics and have always produced and distributed their own comic movies. FOX had Daredevil, whose rights they have let lapse, and X-Men. Batman vs Superman is very much Warner Bros.

  • Steve | October 9, 2013 9:04 PM

    Fox made runner runner which is the movie this article is about.

  • Murnau | October 9, 2013 2:38 PMReply

    Goldenberg only edited "Gone Baby Gone" and "Argo" for Affleck. Dylan Tichenor edited "The Town". Fact check.

  • meh | October 9, 2013 1:29 PMReply

    It wasnt bad and was made well...just wasnt good enough to be above average. Justin Timberlakes the star of it for christ sake. Im sure no one expected oscars.

  • Oscar Stegland | October 10, 2013 2:15 PM

    Nothing wrong with Timberlake as an actor. Lots of Oscar-buzz around his performance in Social Network, in which he was excellent, for instance. Like most actors though, he needs a good script to work from.

  • Ugh | October 9, 2013 12:21 PMReply

    It's like two days after release & Runner, Runner is already a faint memory.

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