Ben Affleck in Talks to Direct ARGO; George Clooney and Grant Heslov Producing

     February 3, 2011


Following the critical and commercial success of The Town, we’ve watched Ben Affleck deliberate over his follow-up.  Possibilities include a film about the conflict in eastern Congo, Replay, The Trade, and American Bullshit.  Just a hunch, but the latest option could be the one that sticks.  Affleck is in early negotiations to direct Argo , a political drama which revolves around the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.  George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The American) are producing along with David Klawans (Nacho Libre).

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 about the wacky spy hijinks after the jump:

Here’s how Heat Vision describes the subject matter: iran-hostage-crisis-image

“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.”

I love these stranger-than-fiction stories, especially when they involve government intelligence (see: The Informant!).  Terrio’s script landed on the 2010 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays, one spot below the aforementioned and not dissimilar American Bullshit that also caught Affleck’s eye.  Bullshit likewise centers on a government operation called Abscam, “the true story of the FBI’s 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress.”  But Argo appears to have risen to the top of Affleck’s list, and I can’t blame him.  I wonder if either Affleck or Clooney might star.

Read the full Wired article, written by Joshuah Bearman and published in April 2007, here.

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

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