Ben Affleck bailed on acting in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in order to direct his third film, a picture called Argo. (Good choice!) The film is from a Chris Terrio script that follows a true-life story about a CIA effort to pull diplomats out of Tehran in 1979. The hook: they use a plan that has them posing as a Hollywood studio crew making a sci-fi film called Argo. (Much more background detail is here.)
The first piece of casting (other than Ben Affleck, who is taking a role) is now out: Alan Arkin will play Lester Siegel, the OSS agent turned film producer who is key to the plan. The role is described as “equal parts bookie and rabbi,” in which case Alan Arkin is perfect. But then, when is he not close to perfect? George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the film, and if that conjures up images of the tone of Men Who Stare At Goats — another partially true military/political tale — then you’re probably thinking along the right track. Only, let’s hope, better. [Variety]
After the break, World War Z and the G.I. Joe sequel get new cast additions. Read More »
After the unexpected success of The Town, Ben Affleck found himself in the unique position of being an extremely hot director. Since then, he’s been circling or offered several different directorial projects including American Bullshit, Replay and Tales From The Gangster Squad but had yet to settle on his follow-up. That’s now changed. As was rumored back in February, Affleck’s next directorial effort will be Argo, a spy film based on the true story of how the CIA rescued American citizens from Tehran, Iran by pretending to make a sci-fi movie. He’ll both direct and reportedly star in the film, produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov from a script by Chris Terrio. Because he’s committing to this, Affleck won’t be able to star in Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby. Read more after the break. Read More »
Suddenly, there’s a chance that Ben Affleck might follow George Clooney into the world of the ‘too weird to be true’ political thriller. Mr. Affleck has been looking at options for his third directorial project, following The Town and Gone Baby Gone, but none have been locked down yet. Now it looks like he might work with producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The Men Who Stare at Goats) to adapt a Wired article called “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” Read More »
The Black List has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of 300 (up from last year’s 250) development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.
Note: The headline is a slightly inaccurate, because a lot of these screenplays have already been acquired (six of the top ten listed), a bunch are in production now, and some have even finished production. One of this year’s top ten screenplays, J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call, about the last 24 hours at now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers is already in the can and set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany star. The top screenplay om the list, College Republicans, already has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached to star.
Started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, who polled 90+ peers to send him their 10 favorite new unproduced screenplays to read over the holidays. The underground list was e-mailed around and quickly became a Hollywood phenomenon. To give you an idea, the top three entries of the 2005 list where Things We Lost in the Fire, Juno, and Lars and the Real Girl. However it should be noted that a warning appears at the beginning of the list:
“THE BLACK LIST is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”
Also, it should be noted that many people in recent years have begun accuse participants for pushing their own/friends clients.
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