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The movie is based on the true story of an elaborate ruse the CIA ran during the Iran hostage crisis. A half-dozen Americans had escaped the U.S. embassy, which was seized by militants, and were hiding at the Canadian embassy.
The CIA concocted a story about a Hollywood film crew scouting locations for a sci-fi film — in Iran — as a cover to get the Americans out of the country.
Affleck will play Tony Mendez, the real-life CIA operative who came up with the idea. Arkin and Goodman are in talks for the roles of producer Lester Siegel and makeup artist John Chambers, who helped the agency on the rescue.
In real life, Mendez became Kevin Costa Harkins, an Irish producer who set up offices at the Sunset Gower Studios as part of the ruse.
Chris Terrio wrote the script based on "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue American from Tehran," an article that Joshuah Bearman wrote in the April 2007 Wired magazine.
Variety first reported the news.