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George Clooney Finds Next Project With Focus Features’ ‘Yankee Comandante’

Written by on June 6, 2012 

While it didn’t set the box office ablaze — or make many top ten lists, for that matter — yours truly considers The Ides of March another well-crafted, engaging step in George Clooney‘s burgeoning directorial career. (Coming off Leatherheads, it’s also an important reassurance that he has skill in the first place.) Considering his typical pattern, I figured the interested parties would have to wait, give or take, two years before hearing of another trip behind the camera — not that he shouldn’t act in the meantime! — which makes this next news all the more welcome.

Deadline reports that the actor’s Smokehouse Pictures (co-run by Grant Heslov) and Focus Features will join and adapt The Yankee Comandante, a lengthy, David Grann-penned article that landed in The New Yorker a few weeks back. With Clooney being of the political sort, it’s material that sounds right up the megastar’s alley: In the late ’50s, U.S. Army veteran William Alexander Morgan aided Castro and his rebels in the Cuban revolution, eventually becoming the only American with a Comandante title amongst the forces. (The only other foreigner was a fellow by the name of Che Guevara.)

You might find such a story somewhat perplexing; a lot of people wanted to know what was really going on with the guy, too. Along with being imprisoned on suspicion of espionage, those back home — such as J. Edgar Hoover — were conducting investigations that hoped to uncover who he is and why he did all that to begin with.

It not only sounds like a narrative and historical goldmine, but also an interesting combination of Clooney‘s past efforts — in that quick summary alone, we’ve already got covert operations (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), period political tension (Good Night and Good Luck), and the shadowy affairs of authority figures (The Ides of March). I’d like to give that (really, really long) article a look one of these days — if only to get a better idea of what, exactly, he’ll be tackling — but I’m already, completely game for what The Yankee Comandante may bring.

Does The Yankee Comandante sound worthy of Clooney’s time?

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