'Ghost Army' Enlists Ben Affleck To Direct And Star

The military is about to get seriously spooky thanks to Ben Affleck! The former Batman is set to direct and star in Ghost Army, from a script by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolato. Despite that title, there are no specters floating around the film rattling chains. Instead, Ghost Army tells the true story of a secret World War II military force that used tricks and fakery to fool the Nazis. This premise sounds similar to Affleck's Argo, which may be what attracted him to the project. More on the Ghost Army movie below.

Ben Affleck hasn't helmed a film since the rather disappointing 2016 noir Live By Night, probably because he's been a bit busy playing Batman and some other personal matters. Now it looks like the actor and filmmaker is ready to get back on the horse with Ghost Army, a World War II drama from screenwriter Nic Pizzolato. Per Deadline, the film "tells the story of a secret force that relied on sleight of hand and illusion to trick the Nazis in 1944. A group of soldiers...landed in France to conduct a secret mission...Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks and a massive collection of sound-effects records, they created the illusion of troop strength on European battlefields to trick the Germans into deploying forces in the wrong places."

The film will adapt the Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery.

This premise has a lot of potential, and could make for an exciting film. The concept of using elaborate sleight-of-hand to fool an enemy is also the plot of Affleck's Argo, about the CIA making up a fake movie production in order to free hostages. Argo won Affleck a Best Picture Oscar, so perhaps he feels treading similar ground is the best way for him to return to filmmaking.

Live By Night was most assuredly a dud, but I've enjoyed most of Affleck's directorial efforts so far. Gone Baby Gone is highly underrated, and while The Town may be a bit of a knock-off of a dozen other heist movies, it has style to burn and strong performances. I'll be happy to see him return to directing again, and hope for the best. Affleck will direct, star, and produce. And wonky season 2 aside, Nic Pizzolato is a talented writer, and will likely add something memorable to this material.