It's no surprise that George Clooney - one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood - always has a slew of projects on his plate. He’s already announced his plan to co-write, direct and star in the World War II thriller Monuments Men and is set to co-star in the sci-fi epic Gravity for director Alfonso Cuarón. Now, add another film to that ever-growing list.
According to Deadline, Clooney is attached to direct The Yankee Comandante, based on David Grann’s article from the May 28th issue of The New Yorker.
Grann’s article tells the story of an American named William Alexander Morgan who reached the rank of comandante by helping Fidel Castro and the rebel forces unseat President Fulgencio Batista during the Cuban Revolution. Focus Features is looking to acquire the rights to the film, which Clooney and partner Grant Heslov will produce.
At this early stage, it remains to be seen if Clooney will also star, but since he has taken roles in all four of his directorial efforts to date, it's safe to assume he'll do the same in Comandante. The project - with its combination of politically charged subject matter and period setting - does fit nicely alongside Good Night, and Good Luck. and The Ides of March on Clooney’s resume.
Whether or not the film will connect with audiences is another question altogether. Despite positive buzz, Ides of March - the last film Clooney directed - earned only $41 million at the box office last year, and 2008’s Leatherheads was a critical and financial flop, earning just $31 million against a $58 million production budget.
Still, Clooney’s willingness to challenge himself both as an actor and a filmmaker sets him apart from most big-screen leading men. Comandante has great potential to showcase his skills both in front of and behind the camera and, with its historical ties, could even become a major awards contender.
Keep your eye on the main page for more The Yankee Comandante news as it develops.