'Argo' to Get Retelling by Iranian Film Crew

PHOTO: Ben Afflecks international thriller "Argo" is set for a reboot, only this time its the Iranians telling the story of American diplomats who evaded capture and daringly escaped Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
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Just months after its release, Ben Affleck's international thriller "Argo" is set for a reboot, only this time it's the Iranians telling the story of American diplomats who evaded capture and daringly escaped Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

The Iranian version of the story will be called "The General Staff" and will correct the "ahistoric" inaccuracies of the Ben Affleck blockbuster, director Ataollah Salmanian told the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

"This film, which will be a big production, should be an appropriate response to the ahistoric film 'Argo'" he said.

"Argo," directed by and starring Affleck, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It is based on the true story of how a CIA operative smuggled six American embassy staffers out of the country by convincing Iranian officials that they were filmmakers shooting a science fiction movie.

The Iranians were not happy with the picture, which various state-controlled news agencies labeled "anti-Iranian" and "un-Islamic."

When the movie was released in October to rave reviews in the U.S., Iranian news agency FARS accused the filmmakers of giving away free tickets to inflate box office sales.

State-run news agency IRNA called the movie "Hollywood's latest failed attempt to confront the Islamic Revolution."

Based on Salmanian's comments about "The General Staff," it's unclear whether the upcoming film will focus just on the six American diplomats who were sheltered at the home of the Canadian ambassador, or the other 52 Americans held at the U.S. embassy for 444 days between 1979 and 1981.

"The movie entitled The General Staff is about the 20 American hostages who were delivered to the United States by the revolutionaries," Salmanian said. It's not clear what 20 Americans Salmanian was referring to.

Iran has a vibrant film scene, but it is strictly controlled by the government. In September Iran submitted a film "A Cube of Sugar" for Oscar consideration, but shortly after said it would boycott the Academy Awards in retaliation for the anti-Muslim YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims." "A Cube of Sugar" was not, however, nominated for an award.

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