Argo’s amazing science-fiction facts

In the new film Argo, the CIA sends an undercover agent (Antonio Mendez played by Ben Affleck) into the middle of the 1979-80 Iranian Hostage Crisis on a mission to help 6 American diplomats, who are holed-up in the Canadian embassy, escape by posing as a film crew for a faux science-fiction movie called Argo.

While Argo is being praised for its authentic seventies look and feel, there are some fun genre connections that have been left out of the movie’s narrative (probably for various legal reasons and time restraints) and although these details won’t hamper your enjoyment of this thrilling film, for genre fans it’ll be fun to know a few things BEFORE you see the movie.

  • To add legitimacy to his faux film-crew operation, CIA Officer Antonio Mendez used the actual Barry Ira Geller screenplay “Lord of Light.”
  • Gellar’s screenplay was created for the movie version of the book, Lord of Light, written by the famous science-fiction author Roger Zelazny in 1967.
  • It was suggested to Mendez that he should change the title of “Lord of Light” to “Argo” in reference to mythological ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed on their mission to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
  • Renowned comic-book artist Jack Kirby actually drew the initial storyboards for the planned film adaptation of “Lord of Light” and these were used as props during the actual CIA operation to rescue the U.S. diplomats.
  • Unfortunately, only recreations of Kirby’s storyboard panels are used in the Affleck film.
  • If you have a sharp eye when watching the Affleck directed Argo movie, you’ll see that, Jack Kirby is played by Michael Parks in this film – a very minor part.
  • In a “circle-of-life” note, Jack Kirby had uncredited input on the creation of the blind comic-book character, Daredevil, who Ben Affleck played in the 2003 film. Jack Kirby is also well-known for many famous Daredevil comic covers from the Silver Age, including the hero’s first issue in 1964.
  • Lord of Light also inspired Barry Ira Geller to try to build a Disneyland like theme park called Science Fiction Land, which Kirby also created design artwork for. Neither the park nor the Lord of Light movie ever got off the ground.
  • There is a current Kickstarter campaign underway to help fund a documentary film regarding the Lord of Light, Science Fiction Land and Argo stories.

You can read more about the story behind ARGO at these exciting source links:

Documentarian hopes to make film about failed movie that inspired fake movie in Affleck’s ‘Argo.’ Got that? – EW.COM

SCIENCE FICTION LAND {A Stranger Than Fiction Doc} – Kickstarter

How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran – Wired

A Classic Case of Deception – CIA Goes Hollywood –

The CIA, the Lord of Light Project, and ScienceFictionLand – Barry Ira Geller/

Jack Kirby Art Storyboards for the potential Lord of Light film – Barry Ira Geller/

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