Director Ben Affleck first started considering Argo as his next project in February. In the months since, Affleck cast Alan Arkin and John Goodman in two supporting roles. Until tonight, Affleck had yet to announce the man to play Tony Mendez, “the CIA exfiltration expert who created a fake Hollywood production to get six Americans who were hiding out at the Canadian ambassador’s out of Iran.” According to Variety, Affleck will assume the lead role himself. Affleck, Arkin, and Goodman make a formidable trio at the top of the playbill.
George Clooney and Grant Heslov are on board as producers under their Smokehouse banner. Chris Terrio (Heights) wrote the script based on a Wired magazine article titled “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” Read more about the truly movie-worthy subject matter after the break.
This outline is pulled from our initial report:
“The story centers on how, during the occupation of the American embassy by Iranians in 1979, a rescue effort was mounted by the CIA and the Canadian government to extract six U.S. diplomats.
The CIA used a disguise expert and concocted a scenario that involved the six being a Hollywood crew scouting a movie titled Argo. Under those disguises, they were able to flee the country.”
Read the full Wired article, written by Joshuah Bearman and published in April 2007, here.
Terrio’s script landed on the 2010 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays. Alan Arkin and John Goodman are in final negotiations to play producer Lester Siegel and Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers, respectively.
Given the talent on both sides of the camera, I’m guessing Warner Bros. will schedule Argo for release as an Oscar hopeful in late 2012.