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Ben Affleck in talks to direct George Clooney's Iran hostage crisis film

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clooney-affleckImage Credit: Debby Wong/PR Photos; Bob Charlotte/PR PhotosEW has confirmed that Ben Affleck is currently in talks to direct the Warner Bros. political thriller Argo. The project, which is based on an article in Wired magazine, was set up at the studio by George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov. The story centers on a stranger-than-fiction CIA rescue operation during the occupation of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, when six U.S. diplomats were held hostage. The CIA hatched a scheme involving disguises and a fake Hollywood film crew on a location-scouting mission to help get the captives out of the country.

Argo would be the first directing assignment for Affleck since The Town. When that Boston-set heist picture opened to critical praise (and went on to earn a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Jeremy Renner), Affleck’s name started popping up seemingly every other week attached to one high-profile film or another. But his reps continued to shoot down all of those rumors. If his current discussions with Clooney and Warner Bros. pan out, it would mark the first time Affleck and Clooney have worked together, although Affleck’s pal Matt Damon and his brother, Casey, were both in Clooney’s Oceans 11 films.

Originally posted February 4 2011 — 2:12 PM EST

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