Ben Affleck joins Anne Hathaway and Willem Dafoe in Netflix political thriller

Ben Affleck, a cast member in "Justice League," poses at the premiere of the film at the Dolby Theatre on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck has signed onto a film that seems primed to throw him back into the world of US covert operations explored in “Argo.”

According to Deadline, the Cambridge native has joined Anne Hathaway and Willem Dafoe in the cast of “The Last Thing He Wanted,” a political thriller from “Mudbound” director Dee Rees set to be distributed on Netflix.

Unlike “Argo,” which was based on a true story, “The Last Thing He Wanted” is based on a 1996 novel of the same name by Joan Didion. It’s about a Washington Post reporter named Elena McMahon (Hathaway) who quits her job and decamps to Florida to visit her ailing father Richard (Dafoe), an aging gunrunner.


Elena eventually becomes a pawn in a government plan to sell arms covertly to rebels in Central America, a plot that in some ways mirrors the real-life events of the Iran-Contra affair.

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While there’s no official word on which character Affleck will play, the most obvious choice may be the role of Treat Morrison, a high-level government official who becomes romantically entangled with Hathaway’s character.

Also costarring Toby Jones and Rosie Perez, “The Last Thing He Wanted” is set to debut on Netflix in 2019.

Kevin Slane can be reached at