Ben Affleck impressed fans and critics alike with his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone and then went on to prove those proclaiming “beginner’s luck” wrong by knocking it out of the park again with his second film, the Oscar-nominated The Town.
There has been a lot of interest in what Affleck would choose as his third directorial project, with various projects being rumored including Replay, about a man who keeps living his life over and over Groundhog Day-style; The Trade, about the 1970s wife swap of New York Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich; and American Bullshit, about a famous 1980s FBI undercover investigation. However it appears that Affleck has chosen his next project in the form of the political thriller, Argo.
Variety reports that Affleck is officially in negotiations to direct Argo, which has been set up by producers George Clooney, Grant Heslov (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and David Klawans (Nacho Libre). The script was written by Chris Terrio (Heights), and Variety has the plot details:
“The plot centers on how the CIA, with help from Hollywood and the Canadian embassy, used a fake movie project to smuggle six Americans out of Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
The ruse, concocted by CIA operative Tony Mendez, involved launching Studio Six Prods. to rescue the six diplomats who were hiding in the Canadian embassy. The Americans used disguises to pretend they were Canadians on a scouting trip for a big-budget Hollywood epic, titled ‘Argo.’”
The story is based on a 2007 Wired magazine article by Joshuah Bearmna entitled, “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.”
Most of the projects Affleck has lined up as possibilities for his next directed film are based on real-life events (save for Replay). With Argo he certainly has a delicate subject to try and deal with but he has proved with both Gone Baby Gone and The Town that he knows how to handle tough issues and themes while still making an entertaining and thrilling film.
Can Affleck go three for three with Argo? At this point he has more than proven himself a very talented director, so there is little to doubt about him.