Affleck-Garner sightings spur rumors, but no movie planned now
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
8/11/10 at 6:40 PM
Ben Affleck is not shooting a movie in Oklahoma — at least not right now, and there’s no reason to believe he will be anytime soon, an official said.
Speculation ran rampant Wednesday following a report that film stars Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, showed up Tuesday night at Broken Arrow’s Bass Pro Shop, buying fishing supplies while complying with requests for photos and autographs.
The speculation was fueled by a store employee’s comments that Affleck told him that he was filming a movie in Bartlesville, playing a fisherman, and needed to buy some equipment.
A new film shooting in the state, much less in Bartlesville, would come as news to Jill Simpson, the head of Oklahoma’s Film & Music Office, which assists filmmakers in planning film productions in Oklahoma.
“We have one film shooting in Oklahoma currently,” Simpson said, referring to “Bringing Up Bobby,” a Famke Janssen-directed drama starring Milla Jovovich and Bill Pullman, which wraps production this week.
“After that, we won’t have anything filming in the state. Hopefully we will have one start in the fall,” but that is still to be confirmed, said Simpson, who added that she has “never spoken to Ben Affleck. … If I have something to report, I will.”
Simpson did have contact with his younger brother, Casey, when she assisted the producers of “The Killer Inside Me” with filming in Oklahoma, including Tulsa, last year.
The couple’s appearance in the Bartlesville area — multiple users of social media reported seeing Garner at Walmart, while Affleck was supposedly spotted at Two Sisters Pub — had the rumor mill in high gear.
A popular comment making the rounds was of Affleck shooting a film at the Hughes Ranch in Washington County. That was not the case, said John Hughes, co-owner of the scenic ranch that features wild horses and which has had its share of film cinematographers tour the land.
“I sure haven’t seen any stars, but I sure have had the calls,” Hughes said, recounting one from Wednesday afternoon. “This gal called, and she said, ‘Sir, I’m a single mom, and I need work as an extra on that movie they’re making out there.’ I had to disappoint her.”
Pullman was at the ranch for a tour last week, Hughes said, and his son gave a tour to Rachel McAdams (“Wedding Crashers”) in 2009. McAdams and Christian Bale (“The Dark Knight”), who was spotted in Bartlesville last year, have long been attached to a film by director Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”), who grew up in the city.
Affleck has starred in films like “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor” and “The Sum of All Fears,” and he is also a director and Oscar-winning screenwriter for “Good Will Hunting.”
Garner, whom Affleck married in 2005, starred in TV’s “Alias” before moving into movies including “Juno” and “13 Going on 30.”
Following Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Tuesday night visit to the Broken Arrow Bass Pro Shop on Tuesday night, speculation ran rampant that Affleck was in Oklahoma to film a movie. Local officials say there’s no truth to the rumor. Elise Amendola/Associated Press file