Ben Affleck’s latest film, Argo, tells the story of how the CIA attempted to rescue six hostages from Iran by entering the country using a fake movie production as a cover story. To legitimize the operation, the CIA set up a fake movie studio and produced a fake script to make things seem on the level. Pretty much no one in show business knew the real story behind the deception, and when word of a new studio got out, some burgeoning filmmakers thought this was going to be their window to success.
Among the many people to send scripts to this fake studio was none other than Steven Spielberg himself during the early ‘80s, according to the CIA website. This was at a time when he was coming into his own as a director, but he still wasn’t powerful enough to be calling the shots. We’re not exactly sure what script was actually sent to the studio, but given the time frame it could have easily been E.T. or an early draft of his unreleased sci-fi film, Night Skies.
This probably isn’t one of Spielberg’s prouder moments, but his career still survived.