Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Begins Filming: Third Film For Director

Ben Affleck Begins Dangerous Middle East Adventure

Ben Affleck has begun commanding a dangerous mission deep into the heart of an extremely hostile enemy. Luckily, he'll get to boss the bad guys around, too.

Principal photography on the star's third directorial effort, "Argo," began on Thursday, with Warner Bros. sending out a press release detailing both the star-studded behind-the-scenes team (see: Clooney, George, for example) and the first official synopsis of the based-on-a-true-story film.

In a quick summary of the synopsis, the film is about six US hostages that have escaped the grasp of their Iranian hostage takers during the famous 1979 crisis. They make their way to the home of a Canadian ambassador, but require an extreme plan to make it out of the country. Enter a preposterous, movie production scheme and some guts of steel, and you have one of the wildest stories in recent covert history (or, so we know).

In addition to directing, Affleck will star in the film, which will also include "Breaking Bad" Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, John Goodman -- he of frightening "Community" guest arc this season -- and Alan Arkin, perhaps the funniest film grandfather of the past ten years.

The film begins shooting in Los Angeles, with later footage to be taken in Washington, DC and Istanbul.

BURBANK, CA, August 31, 2011 -- Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures' and GK Films' dramatic thriller "Argo," directed by and starring Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck ("The Town," "Good Will Hunting"). The film is being produced by Academy Award® winner George Clooney ("Syriana"), Oscar® nominee Grant Heslov ("Good Night, and Good Luck.") and Affleck.

Based on true events, "Argo" chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis--the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades.

On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

"Argo" also stars Oscar® winner Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine"), Bryan Cranston (TV's "Breaking Bad") and John Goodman ("You Don't Know Jack"). The main cast also includes Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks, and Taylor Schilling.

Affleck is directing the film from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, based on a selection from Master in Disguise by Antonio Mendez. David Klawans, Chris Brigham, Graham King, Tim Headington, Chay Carter and Nina Wolarsky are serving as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar®-nominated director of photography Rodrigo Prieto ("Brokeback Mountain"), production designer Sharon Seymour ("The Town"); Oscar®-nominated editor William Goldenberg ("Seabiscuit," "The Insider"); and Oscar®-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West ("The Social Network," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button").

Filming on "Argo" began in Los Angeles. Future locations include Washington D.C. and Istanbul.

Slated for release in 2012, "Argo" is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with GK Films, a Smoke House Pictures production, to be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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