My biz news about George Clooney:
1) I’m sure you’ve heard like I have all the buzz about trouble with Warner’s Get Smart, not just that it’s not funny (unlike the studio’s Fred Claus, which is full of humor) but especially regarding re-shoots. A source at the studio tells me that an integral dream sequence in the beginning of the movie was supposed to be done with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but The Governator decided he didn’t want to do it. So I hear Warner prez of production Jeff Robinov wants George Clooney to do what will be a nightmare sequence.
2) Another source tells me that Clooney’s abrupt withdrawal from indie White Jazz (just weeks before principal photography was going to begin) is more fallout from his Michael Clayton bombing at Warner. “He’s panicked that, for all of his media darling press coverage, he seems unable to attract moviegoers on his own,” I’m told. People close to Clooney say that, while he loved the part that’s based on the James Ellroy novel and had long wanted to work with writer/director Joe Carnahan (Narc), the disappointing box office of yet another of his films spooked Clooney to decide he needs to appear next in a sure-fire popcorn movie. See my Tyler Perry, The Rock, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg Beat Clooney