With his directorial debut Gone, Baby, Gone, Ben Affleck proved he could craft a fine piece of dramatic work. For his follow-up The Town, we learned he could also make a bloated, but often entertaining movie that made lots of money. With his third film, Argo, he will hopefully combine the best of the two. Variety reports he has found his first actor for drama on the Tehran hostage crisis.

Little Miss Sunshine Oscar-winner Alan Arkin will play Lester Siegel in Hollywood producer, an “O.S.S. veteran described as equal parts bookie and rabbi.” It was reported earlier that Affleck will also have a role in the film, but we have no confirmation yet. Produced by George Clooney‘s shingle Smoke House, Argo tells the story of “CIA’s attempt to rescue six U.S. diplomats trapped in their embassy after Iranians took it over in 1979. The operatives disguised the six diplomats as a movie crew scouting locations for a fictional film called Argo.” Chris Terrio adapted Joshuah Bearman‘s April 2007 Wired magazine article, titled “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue American from Tehran.”

Arkin seems born to play the role described, and I’m glad Affleck dropped his role in The Great Gatsby 3D to take on another directing gig considering that is clearly where he shines. If you want your Arkin fix he also appears in Universal’s The Change-Up this summer and Disney’s The Muppets this November. As for Affleck, he’ll be in Terrence Malick‘s upcoming romantic drama, but who knows when we’ll ever see it knowing his schedule.

What do you think about Arkin joining Argo?

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