Ben Affleck Finds a Lead for 'Argo:' Himself

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With his 2007 film "Gone Baby Gone," Ben Affleck reminded the movie-going public why he won an Oscar for "Good Will Hunting" all those many years ago. His performance didn't snag him gold -- it was the writing. Writing and directing "Gone Baby Gone" was Affleck flipping the bird to people who poo-pooed him for "Armageddon" and "Gigli" and a way for the star to get his hands dirty behind the camera. A reinvention.

But really, who expected Affleck to completely shake off the acting bug?

Affleck gave himself a meaty part in his 2010 follow-up flick "The Town" and now, according to Variety, he'll return as director/actor for "Argo," a dramedy centering on the 1979 rescue of six U.S. diplomats held hostage in Iran's American embassy. The movie is based on an April 2007 Wired article adapted for the screen by Chris Terrio ("Heights"), a script that made the coveted Black List in 2010.

Affleck's casting of himself follows up two veteran actors joining the cast: Alan Arkin and John Goodman, who will play two Hollywood types recruited by the government to stage a fake film shot in Iran, as a cover up to the real mission. Affleck's exact role is unknown, but imagining him as either a CIA operative or a Hollywood maven doesn't seem too difficult.

"Argo" is moving quickly into production and should hit theaters sometime in 2012.