Argo's Fake Movie Studio Even Fooled Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg knows that Ben Affleck’s Argo is a work of fiction and not a documentary, right? Well, he likely does now, but he didn’t back in the early 1980s.

According to a thorough background report on the events depicted in Affleck’s thrilling hostage drama, the CIA revealed that the bogus movie studio established by Tony Mendez as a means of establishing credibility for his fake Argo screenplay received 26 scripts, including “some potential moneymakers” and at least one from Steven Spielberg. That’s awesome.

Spielberg, at the time, was coming off of Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), but wasn’t quite the massive, untouchable, Hollywood powerhouse that he has grown to become over the years thanks to an unprecedented number of smash hits. But I think it’s really funny how savvy Spielberg was about the industry that he heard about a new production house and – eager to cover all of his bases and establish relationships with potential partners – quickly sent them a script to see if they would bite. I wonder if the script he sent over was either Raiders of the Lost Ark or E.T., which are the first two movies he made in the 1980s?

We have discussed at length how accurate Affleck is with Argo. This document will satisfy anyone who wants a step-by-step recount of the mission that rescued U.S. embassy workers from a hostile situation in Iran. It explains in greater detail the Canadian government’s involvement, and dives deeper into the bizarre relationships forged in Hollywood as Mendez and his crew tried to establish Argo’s legitimacy. Consider it a possible DVD extra for Affleck’s drama, only available to you right now.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.