Everyone on the planet knows George Clooney as an actor and, to a smaller extent, director, but he’s also been in the producing game for some time now. (Call him a renaissance man, if it makes you comfortable.) Things are really taking off on that lattermost front, too; both he and his creative partner, Grant Heslov, have recently been launching new projects under their company, Smoke House — some of which involve Aaron Sorkin and Christopher McQuarrie.

Now, Deadline says that the duo are getting behind an adaptation of David Bianculli‘s Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story Of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for Sony Pictures. Though it hasn’t been said if Clooney will star or direct, Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman have been hired to shape the non-fiction book into a screenplay. As an audience, we’ll be presented with their transition “from squeaky clean comics to counterculture troublemakers,” who worked with “a writing staff that included Steve Martin, and Rob Reiner” and were “the first to introduce liberal hippie politics into the mainstream.” By giving an outlet for performers such as “The Who, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors,” they were granted a spot on “President Richard Nixon’s enemies list,” which then led to a firing from CBS. Sounds like fascinating stuff, and I’ll be on the lookout for this one over the next few months.

In terms of on-camera work, Twitch reports that Clooney and his Descendants director, Alexander Payne, might be taking over Animal Rescue from David Cronenberg. The Canadian helmer got attached to 20th Century Fox’s Dennis Lehane-scripted film back in August; that’s no longer in place. Reasons for such a change aren’t available, but commitments to projects ranging from The Matarese Circle (which, despite last receiving an update in February of 2009, is apparently still on for 2013), As She Climbed Across the Table, and Eastern Promises 2 might be a part of that.

Any details on plot, character, tone, setting — basically, anything — are not available to us, but a Lehane fan like myself is immediately interested. And, also taking both Clooney‘s career-best performance in The Descendants and my general appreciation of Payne into account, it’s hard to dispel this one’s chances. It’d just be nice to know a little more about the project, is all.

Do you want to see a Smothers Brothers biopic? Is another pairing of Payne and Clooney in your interest?

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