MGM has signed Smokehouse Pictures partners George Clooney and Grant Heslov to a two year first look deal. First up is an untitled film that Clooney will direct and possibly star in about controversial car engineer and designer John DeLorean. MGM Motion Picture Group president Jonathan Glickman made the deal.
The film will be written by Keith Bunin is writing the script based on Saint John, an article for Epic Magazine written by Alex Pappademas. Depending on how it all turns out, Clooney might play DeLorean. DeLorean oversaw development of numerous cars and the first muscle car, the Pontiac GTO.
Then he started his own line anchored by the vehicle best remembered for its appearance in Back to the Future. Then the youngest division head in General Motors history, DeLorean left to start his company in 1973. It took eight years to ready the car line named after him and soon he watched his company fall into dire financial straits. He was later charged with trafficking cocaine following a sting operation in which he was recorded by undercover federal agents agreeing to bankroll a smuggling operation. This was all set up by a neighbor, a career criminal looking to bargain leniency on his own upcoming trial on drug trafficking charges. DeLorean was eventually acquitted as the evidence pointed to entrapment, as DeLorean hadn’t committed crimes before but was sought out because he was vulnerable to temptation over the financial problems he was experiencing.
“Smokehouse has an undeniable pedigree, representing the high quality and entertaining slate of talent we look to work with as we expand the MGM slate,” Glickman said. Clooney and Heslov said they looked forward “to a long and successful partnership.”
Upcoming for Smokehouse is Hulu’s highly anticipated upcoming limited series, Catch-22, based on the Joseph Heller novel, debuting on May 17. From Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, the 6-part series stars Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler
and Clooney. Clooney and Grant Heslov are the exec producers for Smokehouse Pictures, and each of the directed two of the series episodes.