Ben Affleck will direct and is attached to star in Ghost Army for Universal Pictures. The film has a script by True Detective‘s Nic Pizzolato, based on the Rick Beyer & Elizabeth Sayles book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery. The script also is based on the Netflix documentary Ghost Army.
Affleck will produce for his Pearl Street Films alongside Andrew Lazar and his Mad Chance Productions banner. Pearl Street Films’ Madison Ainley will be executive producer. An earlier draft of the script was written by Henry Gayden.
The drama tells the story of a secret force that relied on sleight of hand and illusion to trick the Nazis in 1944. A group of soldiers including future luminaries Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane and Jack Masey landed in France to conduct a secret mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks and a massive collection of sound-effects records, they created the illusion of troop strength on European battlefields to trick the Germans into deploying forces in the wrong places.
The secret force of 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops — the Ghost Army — dragged duffel bags of drawings and paintings through France and other European cities to stage phony convoys, phantom divisions and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. The campaign is credited with saving thousands of American lives.
EVP Production Mark Sourian will oversee the project for Universal.
Affleck is represented by WME and Ziffren Brittenham; Gayden is UTA and Kaplan/Perrone; Lazar is David Weber and AJ Brandenstein of Sloane, Offer.
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