When Ben Affleck was making the press rounds for "The Town" a few years back, I talked to him about his friend Matt Damon's career path. We discussed the fact that Damon had been gearing up to direct a film (which ended up being "Promised Land") for some time but he kept getting calls from the likes of Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers to star in their films. When you're an actor who wants to direct, you'd be a fool not to audit those classes, so to speak.
So I find it really interesting that in the midst of a strong and building filmmaking career that has already brought him a Best Picture Oscar (last year's "Argo"), Affleck has decided to star in David Fincher's adaptation "Gone Girl." It seems to me he may be taking note of his buddy's trek through the business, loading up on some crucial studies with master filmmakers. He already has Terrence Malick under his belt.