Well, maybe if Clooney could read your mind Leatherheads would have done better. But in a new movie he’ll be trying to get all Kreskin on your ass in The Men Who Stare At Goats, a movie whose title will surely be changed.
The film is based on a book of the same title by Jon Ronson*; the non-fiction tome tells the story of the US Army’s First Earth Battalion, which was intended to be a paranormal strike force, using ESP instead of bullets. The title refers to attempts to kill goats by staring at them. The First Earth Battalion never got off the ground, but elements of the group’s manual, written by Jim Channon (which is likely who Clooney will be playing), have been used in modern Army ‘psychological interrogation’ (read: torture) techniques.
The Men Who Stare At Goats is being produced by Clooney’s Smokehouse, with partner Grant Heslov making his second helming effort. The script, by How To Lose Friends and Alienate People writer Peter Straughan and which made the rounds at Cannes this week, is supposedly very good, topping lists of best unproduced British screenplays. Clooney as a guy trying to start a psychic battalion seems like gold, and I imagine he and Heslov are excited to get into the whole torture thing. As long as they make it funny, and leave old timey football out, they might have a shot.
*This is the same guy who wrote Them: Adventures With Extremists, which was at one point going to be a collaboration between Mike White and Edgar Wright. Not sure what happened to that one.