While it might seem like something that could only be dreamed by Hollywood — the movies save hostages! — the fact of the matter is that Ben Affleck‘s upcoming “Argo” is indeed based on a true story. If you haven’t read it, then pull up a chair and check out Wired’s riveting “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran” which served as the foundation for the movie that tells the tale of the CIA’s ambitious mission to get Americans holed up in post-revolution Tehran by pretending to be in the country shooting a movie. But it seems the movie ruffled a few feathers north of the border, though the amiable Affleck has done what he can to smooth things over.
As The Toronto Star reports, Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, was upset by how the film downplayed the involvement of Canadians in the mission, particularly as their participation was equally crucial to freeing the Americans. In fact, at the time, crowds in U.S. cities floated banners that said “Thank you, Canada.” According to Taylor, “In reality, Canada was responsible for the six and the CIA was a junior partner. But I realize this is a movie and you have to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.” The former ambassador wasn’t invited to the TIFF premiere of the movie (not that he would’ve attended), but once Affleck heard his concerns, fences were mended.
The director has gone ahead and changed the film’s postscript (which was formerly something a bit more sarcastic) to read: “The involvement of the CIA complemented efforts of the Canadian embassy to free the six held in Tehran. To this day the story stands as an enduring model of international co-operation between governments.” But it doesn’t end there. Taylor and Affleck apparently got on so famousl, that the former has recorded a DVD commentary with his wife for the film that will likely clarify some of the fictitious portions of the story, including the plot element that has Canadian officials threatening to close the embassy.
But it seems Affleck is eager to make things right, and Taylor will be in attendance for the D.C. gala premiere of the movie. Picking up very strong notices in Telluride and TIFF, Affleck’s film has nicely side-stepped this controversy to keep steadily building as an awards season contender. Here’s the new U.K. poster for the movie (via HeyUGuys). “Argo” lands in the U.S. October 10th and in the U.K. on November 7th.
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