Why Did Disney Bury Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas' New Film?

A-list actors Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas are soon to star in a new thriller, but Disney has for whatever reason chosen to downplay its release.

Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas are soon to star in the new thriller Deep Water, but Disney has chosen to basically bury the movie. Based on a 1957 novel by author Patricia Highsmith, Deep Water is the latest directorial effect from Adrian Lyne, a filmmaker that boasts quite a number of major movies on his resume. At the same time, Lyne is far from regarded as the most commercial of directors, often choosing to craft films that challenge their audiences.

Lyne's best known directorial effort is probably 1987's Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Lyne received an Oscar nomination for his work, although he didn't win. Notably, Deep Water not only marks Lyne's first time working with Affleck and Armas, but it's also the first movie he's directed since 2002's Unfaithful, which was itself a box office success. With that in mind, it's certainly a bit strange to see Deep Water, a movie with a big name director and two big name stars, be treated as such an afterthought.

Originally planned for a theatrical release in 2020, Deep Water was delayed multiple times and then pushed off the schedule, ostensibly due to Coronavirus concerns. While there's likely some truth to that reasoning, one wonders if Disney would've given Deep Water a bigger spotlight even if the pandemic had never happened. Despite the wattage of stars Affleck and Armas - who's set to play Marilyn Monroe soon - Deep Water, like many of Lyne's films, is an erotic thriller, and by its very nature is highly sexually charged. Disney almost never releases movies of Deep Water's type, and likely never would have, had it not been acquired when Disney bought Fox. In that light, it's more understandable why Disney is dumping Deep Water to Hulu.

Ben Affleck in Deep Water

In addition to Disney likely having issues with marketing and promoting the racy adult content found in Deep Water, there's another reason Disney may not have confidence in the movie. Deep Water's critical reviews are in, and while they aren't declaring Lyne's latest to be unwatchable, they're far from good either. Deep Water currently has a 43 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a critical consensus suggesting it'll only likely be of internet to those already inclined toward Lyne's kind of erotic thriller.

With all that in mind, Disney's decision to effectively dump Deep Water onto Hulu without much fanfare makes a bit more sense, even if Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas continue to be recognizable stars. Still, there's certainly a chance that a limited, arthouse theatrical release might've proven worthwhile if Disney had been willing to go that route. Instead, the first directorial work of the man behind Fatal Attraction, Jacob's Ladder, and Indecent Proposal in two decades is being unceremoniously tossed out into the deep end of streaming obscurity, a place it may well drown in.

Michael Kennedy is an avid movie and TV fan that's been working for Screen Rant in various capacities since 2014. In that time, Michael has written over 2000 articles for the site, first working solely as a news writer, then later as a senior writer and associate news editor. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant's new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture. A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come.

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