The “global financial crisis” has already been plundered for its bloody remains by the Hollywood machine; sometimes crudely, sometimes sensibly, sometimes preposterously, but into this swirling vortex of confusion, bitterness and vested interest is about to step one of the smoothest men in the business, George Clooney. Everyone likes George Clooney; while he maybe so handsome you want to slap him, he is simultaneously so charming you’d happily let him have a night with your mum- maybe the whole weekend. As an actor he possesses the sort of old school charm that used to be exuded by the likes of Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogard; a humanitarian and philanthropist and, in 2005, demonstrated a remarkably deft and politically adept touch with Good Night, and Good Luck.

Now Variety say Clooney is set to produce and, in all probability, direct a film based on the role of Neel Kashkari, a design engineer (currently with Lockheed) who played a key role under Republican Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in implementing the “Troubled Asset Relief Programme” which essentially invested $700 billion of public money into America’s banks to prevent the United States economy from imploding completely.

The film will be titled and based on The $700 Billion Man, an article in the Washington Post by Laura Blumenfeld, which was optioned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban from 2929 entertainment. Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) has been named as the probable screenwriter and Clooney will co-produce through his Smoke House banner with Grant Heslov, and they will be joined by Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher from Double Feature Films.

Meanwhile, Clooney is currently filming The Ides of March ahead of an October release, and also stars in The Descendents,which should follow this December.

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This article was first posted on April 15, 2011