By Darius KADIVAR
Star to produce "Escape from Tehran"
based on Joshuah Bearman's True
Tehran film project to
be based on Joshuah Bearman's
Wired magazine article ©Photo Composition Darius
This could have been a perfect plot
Ocean and his Band of as a
sequel to Ocean’s 13 were it
not based on a factual Hollywood Hoax that took place in the dark days of the
Islamic Revolution nearly 28 years ago …
George Clooney and his Smoke House
partner Grant Heslov will co-write a dramedy (Comedy & Drama) for Warner
Bros. Pictures detailing how the CIA, with help from Hollywood, used a fake movie project to smuggle a handful
of Americans out of Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
Hollywood Hoax: Original
storyboards of the CIA plot to save US Hostages
© Joshuah Bearman's
Wired magazine article
Warners has snapped up the film
rights to Joshuah Bearman's
Wired magazine article on the real-life intelligence tale and set it up with
Smoke House to produce.
As with any Smoke House project,
"Escape From Tehran" is a potential directing and starring vehicle for Clooney.
The project is the first Heslov and
Clooney have penned together since 2005's "Good Night, and Good Luck”.
Bearman's article in the current issue of Wired centers around CIA operative
Tony Mendez, a master of disguise who was put in charge of rescuing six
Americans hiding out in Tehran. He came up with the idea of using a bogus movie
and contacted Hollywood makeup artist John
Chambers and Bob Sidell, also a
makeup artist, launched Studio Six Prods. (an allusion to the six Americans
awaiting rescue) and announced their first movie project, to be shot in
Iran. Both Variety and the Hollywood
Reporter were duped into writing news stories on the film after Studio Six took
out trade ads.
Mendez went to Tehran in January 1980 and told the Americans to pretend
they were Canadians on a scouting trip for a big-budget Hollywood epic. The ruse worked.
Smokehouse VP Nina Wolarsky brought
in "Escape." David Klawans ("Nacho Libre") is attached to
Clooney wanted to Portray Persian Emperor
Xerxes but in another version
of the epic
battle ©Warner Bros.& imdb
George Clooney seems to have a hook
on Iranians/Persians since he was to initially produce the screen adaptation of
Steven Pressfields “The
Gates of Fire” about the famous Battle of Thermopylae which was finally
abandoned since Warner Bros. Decided to make the now infamous movie 300 directed
by Zack Snyder. According to an interview given to the Guardian in 2003, Clooney
wanted to Portray Persian Emperor Xerxes in the Epic movie with Michael Mann
as director. Also Escape from
Tehran is the 2nd adventure for George Clooney that takes him to
Iran. The latest being Syriana
which begins with a key scene in Tehran. It was particularly interesting to see
a depiction of Iranians in the movie which was quite different from the regular
stereotypes the West is used too.
George Clooney & Grant Heslov team up a 2nd
time for Smoke House
after the critically acclaimed movie Good Night and Good
According to imdb.com The movie is due in 2009 and
pre-production has probably started. Actors and extras for Screen Test should
contact Smoke House Company (See Address &
Phone Below) if interested once production begins.
Blvd., Bldg. 15
Burbank, California 91522
tel: 818 954
fax: 818 954
KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media
... Payvand News - 6/19/07 ... --