Bryan Cranston circles ‘Argo’

'Breaking Bad' star will play an Irish CIA agent in hostage-rescue thriller

EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Cranston is in negotiations to play one of the co-leads in Warner Bros. hostage-rescue true story “Argo,” which Ben Affleck is set to direct and topline.

Chris Terrio is adapting Joshuah Bearman’s April 2007 Wired magazine article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue American from Tehran,” which tells how the CIA and the Canadian government teamed to rescue six U.S. diplomats who’d been taken hostage in 1979.

Cranston will play Jack O’Donnell, Irish CIA agent from Boston who used to be President Eisenhower’s bodyguard. John Goodman and Alan Arkin also set to star.

As Variety first reported Monday, Affleck concluded his search for a lead by casting himself.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing through their Smokehouse banner along with David Klawans and Affleck.

Besides his AMC skein “Breaking Bad” premiering next month, Cranston is also currently filming New Line’s “Rock of Ages” and Sony’s “Total Recall.”

Cranston is repped by UTA.

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