Ben Affleck looks to be carrying out the grand actor-turned-director tradition of casting himself in his own projects.     But do I care? Do you? No.  Affleck was absent from the big screen for a long time. He’s earned juicy roles, and it’s not as though he’s shown an inability to direct himself.

And so, Affleck will be taking the lead in Argo, his upcoming political thriller.   He won’t be alone, however, and he’s proving he can constantly attract one hell of an ensemble cast.    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin are in talks to join.

Our Joshua Miller gave a great and detailed rundown on the stranger-than-fiction story that supplied Argo with its tale of political intrigue. The short version is this: The only way we could get six U.S. diplomats out of Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis was by cooking up a fake movie project.   It’s the kind of story you wanted to see on the big screen yesterday.

Affleck is playing Tony Mendez, the CIA technical operations officer who led the project.   (Should we scream whitewashing? I don’t feel like I can without knowing Mendez’s actual ethnic make-up.) Cranston gets the delightful job of bossing Affleck/Mendez, as he is CIA Agent Jack O’Donnell. Arkin will play Hollywood producer Lester Siegel, and Goodman will play the Oscar-winning special effects guru John Chambers, both of whom helped concoct the CIA cover story.

Good cast. Good story. And in a movie for grown-ups, no less! I can’t wait.