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Ben Affleck will star in and direct the Universal Pictures caper “Ghost Army,” based on the book “The Ghost Army of World War II,” written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles, as well as the documentary “Ghost Army.”

It’s unclear when the movie will go into production as it’s still in development and Affleck is expected to rework the screenplay. The latest script was written by Nic Pizzolatto (HBO’s “True Detective”), with an earlier draft by Henry Gayden (“Shazam!”).

The film tells the true story of a squadron of recruits from art schools, ad agencies and other creative businesses who were tasked with fooling the Nazis into thinking the U.S. had larger troop numbers than it actually did. The book follows a group of young GIs, including fashion designer Bill Blass, painter Ellsworth Kelly, artist Arthur Singer, photographer Art Kane, and others, who conduct a secret mission. Their job was to create a traveling road show of deception, armed with inflatable tanks and sound-effects records.

Affleck will also produce for his Pearl Street Films alongside Andrew Lazar (“American Sniper,” “Get Smart”), who will produce for his Mad Chance Productions. Pearl Street Films’ Madison Ainley will executive produce. Exec VP of production Mark Sourian will oversee the project for Universal.

Affleck had been eyeing the movie for some time, but a busy schedule shooting the basketball drama “Torrance” at Warner Bros. and the Netflix pic “The Last Thing He Wanted” prevented him from committing.

He was most recently seen in the action-thriller “Triple Frontier.” Affleck is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

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