Career redefinition accepted. Ben Affleck is no longer just the pretty boy who starred in Forces of Nature, Bounce and Gigli. He’s a passionate and creative multi-hyphenate, capable of writing, directing, producing and starring in films of all sizes. 2010 was a landmark year for him thanks to the hit crime drama The Town and a well-received performance in John Wells’ The Company Men. After working on Terrence Malick’s new film, he’s once again focusing his energies behind the camera, picking up work on another interesting project with another actor-director superstar.
The Hollywood Reporter scoops that Affleck is in talks to direct Argo, a film that George Clooney and partner Grant Heslov have long been developing. Based on a 2007 Wired magazine article by Joshua Berman that details the rescue of American hostages in Tehran, 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 Company 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.
Chris Terrio wrote the screenplay, which is said to include some wry humor, while Clooney and Heslov will produce. The project once went by a campier title – Escape From Tehran – but to avoid the confusion of fans thinking that this is a John Carpenter sci-fi flick, Argo is probably the way to go. Though Affleck has proven himself a wonderful filmmaker, it is reassuring to know that Clooney and Heslov are on board. The pair are more experienced with political themes and satire, having brought films like The Men Who Stare At Goats and Good Night, and Good Luck to the masses, and will be able to assist Affleck in broadening his creative horizons beyond Boston Harbor. Affleck is also writing the sports dramedy The Trade for Warner Bros. and is flirting with the fantasy drama Replay at Disney, but the trade notes that if a deal can be made, this is the most likely project for him to board.