Ben Affleck is in early negotiations to direct ‘Argo,’ an adaptation of a Wired magazine article revolving around the Tehran hostage crisis that was resolved when Ronald Reagan became President. George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the political thriller, which is said to also contain elements of wry humor.
The title of the article says it all: “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” Written by Joshuah Bearman and published in April 2007, 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.’ With these disguises, they were able to flee the country. Too bad they couldn’t have made the Iranians believe that the entire embassy was a UFO for the film and taken that too.
Of added interest to comic aficionados is the involvement of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby who created Captian America and the Hulk amongst many other achievements: the artist’s movie designs and drawings were used by the CIA to sell the existence of the movie to the Iranians.
Chris Terrio wrote the screenplay and David Klawans is also a producer on Argo. Affleck has been offered many directing projects since last fall’s critical and financial success, The Town. He considered Replay, a dramatic fantasy, and The Trade, a 1970s sports dramedy, both at Warners, but was never attached to them.
Maybe this film highlighting American ingenuity in the global battle of good versus evil can be seen as Hollywood’s ‘Sputnik moment.’