Former Batman actor Ben Affleck has found his latest high-profile project. According to a new report from Deadline, Affleck will direct and is attached to star in Ghost Army, an upcoming WWII drama for Universal Pictures.
Ghost Army 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.
The story has already been told in both a Netflix documentary of the same name, and a book by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles called The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery. Affleck will produce the project for his production company, Pearl Street Films, alongside Andrew Lazar and Madison Ainley. An early version of the script was reportedly written by Shazam! scribe Henry Gayden.
Affleck signing on to be involved with Ghost Army surely has a bittersweet notion to it for some DC fans, after the actor officially stepped down from starring in The Batman earlier this year. In the film's early days, Affleck was brought on to co-write, direct, and star in the project, but ultimately stepped aside.
"I tried to direct a version of it, worked with a really good screenwriter, but couldn't come up with a version," Affleck explained earlier this year. "Couldn't crack it. So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it, and they got some really good people."
The Batman will now be written and directed by Matt Reeves, and is expected to follow a much younger take on the Caped Crusader.1comments
“I’m looking forward to it,” Affleck said in a previous interview. “They’ve got a great director. They’re doing a kind of, I don’t want to give away anything because they get…but they’re doing a young version, a more starting-out version with a younger guy.”
What do you think of Affleck being involved with Ghost Army? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!