EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features is making a rights deal for David Grann’s massive article in the May 28 issue of The New Yorker, The Yankee Commandante, with George Clooney attached to direct. He will produce with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov.
The article is about William Alexander Morgan, an American who helped Castro and the Cuban rebels overthrow Fulgencio Batista. He’d reached the status of Comandante, the sole foreigner other than Argentinian Che Guevara to be so highly regarded. Shortly after, Morgan — a shadowy man whose motives for being there were subject to suspicion — was imprisoned and facing a firing squad, charged with working for U.S. intelligence. At the same time, his exploits as a rebel soldier led J. Edgar Hoover and everyone else scrambling to sort out his motives and who he was working for.
Clooney most recently directed The Ides Of March, and got an Oscar Best Actor nom for The Descendants. He just produced the Ben Affleck-directed Argo and stars with Sandra Bullock in the Alfonso Cuaron-directed 3D space adventure Gravity for Warner Bros. Clooney is repped by CAA, which also brokered the deal for Grann along with The Robbins Office.