Science Fiction Land
Once Mendez got the go-ahead for the fake movie plan, he needed a real movie idea that his fake film company could pretend to have in production. In Argo, Mendez and the Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers—amusingly played by his actual doppelganger, John Goodman—go through dozens of scripts with a veteran Hollywood producer played by Alan Arkin (about whom more below), and Mendez spots a movie called Argo buried in the pile. In fact, Chambers thought of a script they could use soon after Mendez told him the idea. It was called Lord of Light, after the best-selling sci-fi novel by Roger Zelazny that it was based on. The Lord of Light script was part of a wildly ambitious scheme called Science Fiction Land, which would have been the first sci-fi theme park. In order to make that dream a reality, the script’s author, Barry Ira Geller, managed to enlist support not only from Chambers, but from Buckminster Fuller, Ray Bradbury, Paolo Soleri, and Jack Kirby—who made production drawings for the film. You can see one of them below. (In Argo, Mendez commissions storyboards himself, which are quite different from Kirby’s drawings.)

 in Slate

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