week George Clooney used his movie star fame and good looks to get a meeting with the folks at the UN, hoping to make them pay attention to the genocide in Darfur. Now that he’s solved that problem, George is heading back to the director’s chair for Leatherheads, a romantic comedy set against the earliest days of pro football. The title refers to the fact that early football players would have their craniums hickory smoked and tanned as a fashion statement.

Clooney’s taking a crack at the script and will be directing the 1920s period piece, which may have the eternally annoying Renee Zellwegger co-starring. Leatherheads has, apparently, been making the rounds of Hollywood for some time, and according to Variety at one point the movie focused on “an aging football player who coaxes a college star to drop out and try his luck in a new professional league.”

It seems like a potential good choice for Clooney, whose previous directing gigs have been very quirky and very serious – a romantic comedy is the kind of film where he can make a bunch of money and, having proven his artistic chops with Good Night and Good Luck, prove his commercial sensibilities. Production begins in the spring.

(By the way, I kid George Clooney about Darfur. It’s great that he’s using his fame to bring attention to a truly horrible situation, where hundreds of thousands have been murdered. Click here to find out more)