It has been proven multiple times that George Clooney is a great fit for material produced by genius filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. Their relationship began with the wonderful O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000, was followed by the vastly underrated Intolerable Cruelty in 2003, and then came the hilarious Burn After Reading in 2008. The three men recently completed their most recently collaboration, the upcoming Hollywood-set comedy Hail, Caesar!, but it looks like they're already planning yet another project - this time with Clooney helming one of the brothers' scripts.
Clooney has spent more than a decade trying to make the film Suburbicon - the initial plan being for the Coens to direct from their own script - but now Deadline is reporting that Clooney is back in talks to take the wheel of the project himself. At this time, not much is known about the film's plot - or its very strange title - but the trade report describes it as a noir drama that's tonally similar to the Coen brothers' breakout feature, Blood Simple. It's said to be a "small crime drama" and will be a period piece set in the 1950s.
While that description paints the project as being a dark film, movie-goers probably shouldn't go in thinking that it will be completely devoid of laughs. When George Clooney was originally attached to make Suburbicon back in 2005, he told Empire Magazine,
I’m going to do a comedy with Joel and Ethan in around a year. I really like working with them and I like doing comedy with them. They offered me a part in Suburbicon a long time ago, and since then decided they have other projects they want to work on. So I called them up and said 'How about me taking a spin at it?' Because it's a really interesting, really funny, very dark comedy.
Instead of making Suburbicon, Joel and Ethan Coen decided to make an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men - which would up being a pretty brilliant choice considering it went on to be a huge hit and win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was a year after the release of that film that the Coens reteamed with Clooney for Burn After Reading, and Suburbicon wound up being put back on the shelf.
Had plans gone through for Clooney to take the helm of Suburbicon back in 2005, it would have been set up to be the follow-up to his breakthrough hit as a director, Good Night, And Good Luck. Instead, he decided to make the forgettable football comedy Leatherheads, and since then has directed the political thriller The Ides of March and the World War II-set dramedy The Monuments Men. If all goes according to plan, Suburbicon will be his sixth feature effort.
In addition to George Clooney and Joel and Ethan Coen, the new feature also has the power of producer Joel Silver behind it, so that should potentially help grease the wheels in getting the film through production. Obviously things are still in the early stages now, so there's no release date announced, but hopefully we'll get to hear more about Suburbicon soon.