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Ben Affleck in Talks to Direct Tehran Hostage Crisis Film (Exclusive)

Ben Affleck
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck is in early negotiations to direct Argo, an adaptation of a Wired magazine article revolving around the Tehran hostage crisis.

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. Under those disguises, they were able to flee the country.

Of interest to comic geeks is the involvement of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby; the artist's movie designs and drawings were used by the CIA to sell the existence of the movie.

Chris Terrio wrote the screenplay and David Klawans is also a producer on Argo.

WME-repped 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.

This is, so far, the most likely project for him to board, if a deal can be worked out.