Anton Corbijn is a tall Dutch photographer who could probably sell ice to Eskimos — he got Metallica to wear makeup and almost made Bono look like a badass. He did well two years ago at Cannes with Control, his debut feature about the life of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Now he’s been tapped by Focus Features to direct George Clooney in an adaptation of the novel A Very Private Gentleman. Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later) is scripting from Martin Booth’s text.

The plot — an assassin hides out in an Italian town, where he finally lets down his guard against human interaction, messing up his last job — sounds like a remake of the Nic Cage version of Bangkok Dangerous, but since nobody saw that movie it’s probably OK. Or is that synopsis, from Variety, wrong? The book is actually about a gunsmith who crafts weapons for assassins, but doesn’t do the killing. He’s a skilled, technical loner who has to call into question his moral detachment from work. If the movie follows that line, I could see (and I’m speculating wildly here) shades of The Conversation creeping in.

Clooney’s had a good year at Cannes. In addition to this deal, Overture picked up partner Grant Heslov’s directorial debut Men Who Stare At Goats, the Iraqi war thriller with Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.