Ben Affleck Considers Black List Script AMERICAN BULLSHIT for His Next Directing Gig

     January 18, 2011

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Eric Warren Singer (The International) bullshitted his way onto the 2010 Black List.  And by that I mean his script American Bullshit earned 30 votes, good enough to be considered Hollywood’s eighth best unproduced screenplay.  At the time Sony Pictures had already optioned the film, whose days of un-production may be numbered.

Ben Affleck is considering American Bullshit for his directorial follow-up to The Town.  Singer’s script tells “the true story of the FBI’s 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress, dubbed Abscam, which was designed to root out corruption and was the brainchild of a con man.”  Hit the jump for more on Abscam, plus which other projects Affleck is considering.

Like most FBI tales deemed film-worthy, this one sounds crazy: operation-abscam-time-magazine-cover

The FBI set up “Abdul Enterprises, Ltd.” in 1978. FBI employees posed as Kraim Abdul Rahman, a fictional Middle Eastern sheikh, in videotaped talks with government officials, where they offered money in return for political favors to a non-existent sheikh. A house, along with a yacht in Florida and hotel rooms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, were used to set up meetings between various public officials and a mysterious Arab sheikh named “Kambir Abdul Rahman” who wanted:

  • To purchase asylum in the U.S.
  • To involve them in an investment scheme
  • To get help in getting his money out of his country

Much of the operation was directed by Melvin Weinberg, a convicted con artist, who was hired by the FBI for that purpose. It was the first major operation by the FBI to trap corrupt public officials; up until 1970 only ten members of Congress had ever been convicted of accepting bribes… The FBI had codenamed the operation “Abscam”, a contraction of “Abdul scam”, after the name of the company. [Wikipedia]

According to Deadline, Charles Roven and Richard Suckle (The International) will produce American Bullshit through Atlas Entertainment.

Affleck has discussed his interest in making a film ab0ut the conflict in eastern Congo, but he has struggled to find funding.  He could direct and star in Replay, an adaptation of the Ken Grimwood novel about a 43-year-old radio journalist who dies and wakes up in his 18-year-old body.  There’s also The Trade, a film about two New York Yankees pitchers who swapped wives in 1973.  Affleck and Matt Damon would play the two pitchers, and there was even talk of Damon making his directorial debut.

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