Besides the upcoming The Ides of March, director/star George Clooney and writer/producer Grant Heslov‘s company, Smoke House, has an interesting mixed bag of projects in their pipeline. The Playlist sat down with the latter to go over their current slate, which will most likely see Our Brand Is Crisis coming next.
Based on Rachel Boynton‘s documentary chronicling the involvement of James Carville‘s political consulting firm in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Heslov says that this is the project most likely on deck:
“It’s something that we’re probably going to put up next. It’s at Warner Bros. and I’m just trying to figure out who’s going to direct. We’re going to make that one. It’s a really great script. For Smoke House, I would say ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ [is next]. We’ll definitely be producers on it, but what other role we would play I don’t know at this point. Right now it’s just a great script.”
If Heslov and Clooney go the way of their underrated The Men Who Stare At Goats, Crisis should end up in entertaining dark comedy territory.
The other Smoke House projects on the horizon are no less interesting. Heslov is producing Ben Affleck‘s currently-shooting third directorial effort, Argo, which is based on the true story of how the C.I.A. tried to rescue a group of diplomats from Tehran following the 1979 Iranian Revolution while under the guise of a Hollywood film crew in Iran to shoot a sci-fi flick. And how’s that one going?
“It’s going great. We’re on the set, it’s an amazing story. Some of the people who were the hostages that actually escaped the embassy were visiting us today; some of the people the story is based on. I’m on set every day unless I have to go do a press day for “‘Ides.’”
He’s also got the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, which is about Osama Bin Laden‘s chauffeur and how his incarceration in Guantanamo Bay (and subsequent lawsuit) exposed the inhumane conditions at the penitentiary. Clooney was apparently set to both direct and play the role of Hamdan’s slick lawyer, Charles Swift, but Matt Damon may be taking the role instead. The project is now hung up in some stage of development.
We heard earlier this year that Clooney would lead Monster of Florence, playing David Preston (whose book is the basis for the film), a writer who teams with local crime reporter Mario Spezi and attempts to solve a 30-year-old murder mystery that’s been haunting Florence, Italy. Originally a Tom Cruise-starrer, the current incarnation of the project is being written by Christopher McQuarrie, with Heslov saying that he’s “just waiting on a draft.”
These all sound pretty good, but I’m looking forward to Argo and Monster of Florence for real meat.
The Ides of March opens on October 7th. You can read our Toronto review here.
What do you think of these projects? Do any of them pique your interest?