And For George Clooney’s Next Trick – War Time Art Thief Adventure, Monuments Men

Fresh off The Ides of March, which is a career high for George Clooney the director and writer if not necessarily the actor, Mr. Class Act Multi-Hyphenate has selected “big entertainment… big budget” project The Monuments Men as his next movie.

Drawn from Robert Edsel‘s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, the picture will recount the efforts of an under-funded unit in the Second World war, hunting down and retrieving artworks and cultural artefacts stolen by the Nazis.

I’m dreaming of The Indiana Jones Club, without any magic mumbo jumbo, crossed with something like The Dirty Dozen. Perhaps.

The Wrap spoke to Clooney at the Palm Springs Film Festival this weekend:

I’m not opposed to doing a commercial film, I’m just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn’t feel organic to me. So if we’re going to do a commercial film we thought, ‘Let’s do something that seems fun and actually have something to say.’

The other half of that “we” is Grant Heslov, Clooney’s long term writing and producing partner, returning  here to fulfill both of those roles.

Clooney says that there will be several good roles in the film – I’m sure he does – but that it’s too early for casting talk. This being a war picture I expect most of those roles will be for the fellas, though there’s a good few women listed on Robert Edsel’s list of The Monuments “Men” also.

There won’t necessarily be an obvious, neat and tidy “big movie” narrative in the book, so part of Clooney and Heslov’s job will be excavating one. Here’s hoping they can channel a little William Goldman – really, who would have been better for this particular gig?