Affleck: I'm too busy for Focus

Ben Affleck has revealed why he won't be starring opposite Kristen Stewart in drama Focus - explaining he is too busy.

The Oscar-nominated Argo filmmaker, who had been due to take the male lead, decided to leave the film so he can focus on his film version of Dennis Lehane's novel Live By Night, which he is writing, directing, producing and starring in.

"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 told MTV News.

"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."

He added: "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."

Ben was set to play a veteran conman who becomes involved with a girl (Kristen) who is new to the trade and teach her the tricks.

Meanwhile, the star has revealed how Argo has surpassed all his expectations.

The political drama, which Ben stars in and directed alongside Alan Arkin, has received seven Oscar nominations, seven Bafta nods and five Golden Globe nods, and is also a box office hit.

"When I was making it, everyone was telling me it had all the makings of a failure: it was a period movie, in the Middle East, it was a drama, I was the youngest guy in it," he told US Weekly. "So I had very low expectations and I was thrilled when we didn't totally bomb!"