Fox 2000 has just bought the rights to adapt Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's best-selling novel The Monster of Florence, with George Clooney attached for a possible fall shoot.
The screenplay will be written by Chris McQuarrie along with his Valkyrie co-writer Nathan Alexander. Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov are teaming with Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen.
Tom Cruise had optioned the rights to this book in 2008, soon after it's publication when he was at United Artists. Cruise was set to produce and potentially star with McQuarrie to adapt and produce. Plans fell apart after UA stalled as a result of MGM's restructuring problems. The property was brought to Clooney's attention by McQuarrie, Jinks and Cohen and will be produced under their Smoke House banner.
The book is based on the investigation into the murderer(s) known as Il Mostro, who killed more than a dozen people from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s without being caught. Both Spezi and Prestion ended up being under investigation as a result of their digging while preparing the book.
Clooney will next appear in the Alexander Payne's comedy The Descendants from Fox Searchlight in March. He is currently planning to direct and star in The Ides of March for Sony, and will follow that up by starring in the Warner Bros.' sci-fi thriller Gravity opposite Sandra Bullock.
I am a huge fan of Clooney. I prefer him in films like this, even though he can handle comedy like his next role in The Descendants. He is one of the most versatile actors and on top of that a true humanitarian.
What are your thoughts about this casting news?