EXCLUSVE: After finishing production on the Netflix pic Midnight Sky, George Clooney has found his next film to direct. We are hearing Clooney is in negotiations to direct and produce The Tender Bar at Amazon Studios.
Amazon had no comment.
If a deal closes, Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov would produce through their Smokehouse Pictures banner. Ted Hope is also a producer. William Monahan penned the script.
Clooney had been considering MGM’s Boys in the Boat, an adaptation of the Daniel James Brown book about the 1936 University of Washington rowing team that won gold at the 1936 Olympics. Sources say he’s still attached but felt the timing wasn’t right given the complexity of shooting such a film in the backdrop of a pandemic. He decided to make The Tender Bar his next directing job.
It’s unknown at this time if Clooney would also appear in the film but as with every film he directs, that option is always a possibility.
Based on the J.R. Moehringer memoir about growing up in Long Island seeking out father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar, the film was originally set up Sony with Ted Melfi directing. When Melfi fell off, Sony put the film into turnaround, allowing Amazon to grab it.
Clooney has always been particular about the projects he decides to direct, last helming the upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller Midnight Sky for Netflix and Anonymous Content. Clooney also stars in that film opposite Felicity Jones playing a lonely scientist in the Arctic as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
Prior to that, his last film in theaters was the Paramount thriller Suburbicon with Matt Damon and Julianne Moore starring and he executive produced and helmed a handful of episodes on the acclaimed Hulu miniseries Catch-22 while also appearing in the series as dimwitted commander Scheisskopf, opposite Christopher Abbott’s Yossarian.
Clooney is repped by CAA.