Ben Affleck’s next directorial project for Warner Bros., the political thriller Argo, is taking shape as another role is locked down. According to Variety, John Goodman is in talks to fill the role of make-up artist John Chambers, a character who plays a pivotal role in a 1979 hostage negotiation ruse.
The movie is based on a quirky magazine article by Joshuah Bearman about the CIA faking a film project to get American hostages released from Iran. Chris Terrio adapted the article for the silver screen, which surrounds an elaborate ruse to rescue six American diplomats from Tehran in 1979. The CIA uses filmmaker experts to create a believable cover story that the diplomats are actually a Hollywood film crew simply scouting for a movie entitled Argo.
Goodman will play the character of John Chambers, the Oscar-winning Planet of the Apes make-up artist, who is recruited by the CIA to help make the con work. Goodman, usually seen in comedy roles, has been busy lately starring in Kevin Smith’s horror pic Red State, and filming book-adaptation Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Affleck garnered some critical acclaim with his last directing project, The Town. He was recently in the news when he announced that he would prepare his cast for their roles by simulating an actual hostage situation for two whole weeks. It was also leaked that there would be six main characters in the film. Affleck will star, and Alan Arkin’s participation was just announced, and now Goodman’s casting will leave only three more principal roles unaccounted.
George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the pic that Affleck left Baz Luhrmann’s classic novel-to-film Great Gatsby to take on. I understand Affleck wanting to stretch his director wings, but I wouldn’t give up a chance to work with Luhrmann for what sounds like a strange thriller with some darkly comedic elements. And script writer Terrio, who is adapting Bearman’s article “How the CIA used a fake Sci Fi flick to rescue Americans from Tehran,” certainly doesn’t have many films under his belt to boast of so he’s another unknown.
How do you feel about Goodman being cast in Argo?