Ben Affleck to Direct the Hostage Comedy ‘Argo?’

'The Town' director in talks to helm an unexpectedly amusing story of the Tehran hostage crisis.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Ben Affleck to Direct the Hostage Comedy 'Argo?'

Unappreciated actor turned acclaimed director Ben Affleck may be circling his next project after the successful, Oscar-nominated crime drama The Town. The Fleck is in talks to direct Argo, which tells the story of the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran. The George Clooney, David Klawans and Grant Heslov-produced film is based on a Wired magazine article by Joshuah Bearman, which revealed how the CIA used a fake science fiction movie production to mount a rescue of American diplomats held captive in the American Embassy in Iran. Hollywood Reporter had the scoop.

No word on whether Affleck would appear in Argo as well. The film is expected to be somewhat humorous in nature (the title of the original article was "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran"). One particularly interesting bit of historical trivia is the unexpected involvement of comic book legend Jack Kirby in the  CIA’s ruse: his artwork was used to prove the validity of the non-existent film – titled "Argo" – for which the CIA agents claimed to be scouting locations while making their rescue attempt.

Film fans may find the plot rather familiar: Jeff Nathanson’s 2004 comedy The Last Shot was about a similar ruse pulled by the FBI in the 1980’s, in which an aspiring filmmaker was hired to make a fake movie (a fact that was unbeknownst to him) in order to infiltrate Boston mobsters. It starred Alec Baldwin and Matthew Broderick, and it wasn’t particularly good.