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Career Update: George Clooney To Direct New Yorker Article-Turned-Movie, 'The Yankee Comandante'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 7, 2012 at 5:29PM

George Clooney's career continues to flourish. No surprises there. Focus Features is in negotiations for the rights to David Grann's epic New Yorker article "The Yankee Comandante" (which only published on May 28), with Clooney attached to direct. He will also serve as a producer on the film, with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov.
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George Clooney

Post-"The Descendants" and "The Ides of March," George Clooney's career continues to flourish. No surprise there.

Now Focus Features is in negotiations for the rights to David Grann's epic New Yorker article "The Yankee Comandante" (which only published on May 28), with Clooney attached to direct, reports Deadline Hollywood. He would also serve as a producer on the film, with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov ("The Men Who Stare at Goats").

The story is about shadowy American William Alexander Morgan, who aided Fidel Castro's rebellion to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista so much that after the Revolution, Castro gave Morgan the title Comandante. The only other foreigner to earn that status was Argentinian Che Guevara. But ever-paranoid, the Cubans clapped Morgan in prison as a U.S. spy, just as the FBI and CIA were trying to understand who this guy really was.

"The Yankee Comandante" adds to Clooney's already impressive slate, including a producing credit on Ben Affleck's "Argo," which is getting good advance buzz and scheduled for an Oscar-friendly release of October 12. (Watch the trailer here.) And of course, Clooney co-stars with Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's 3 D space odyssey "Gravity," the director's first feature since "Children of Men" in 2006. The release date of the highly-anticipated film was recently pushed back to 2013.

This article is related to: George Clooney, George Clooney, George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Sandra Bullock


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.