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Alan Arkin first to board ‘Argo’

Affleck taps 'Little Miss Sunshine' star for Tehran hostage-crisis pic

Ben Affleck has tapped “Little Miss Sunshine” star Alan Arkin as the first actor to join his Tehran hostage crisis pic “Argo.”

Arkin is in negotiations to play Hollywood producer Lester Siegel, an O.S.S. veteran described as equal parts bookie and rabbi.

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,” which told how the CIA and the Canadian government teamed to rescue six U.S. dipomats who’d been taken hostage at the American embassy by a group of Iranians in 1979. The CIA’s ruse involved the explanation that the six hostages were actually a Hollywood film crew scouting a movie titled “Argo,” and using those fake identities, they were able to flee the country.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing Warner Bros.’ political drama through their Smoke House banner along with David Klawans (“Nacho Libre”).

Arkin will soon be seen playing Ryan Reynolds’ father in Universal’s comedy “The Change-Up,” and he also appears in Disney’s “The Muppets.”

Arkin is repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment.

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