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Wherever there is a film that tackles major social causes, George Clooney will be there. Clooney used to have a pretty decent split between making entertaining fare and pursuing a positive, slightly lefty but otherwise humanist agenda. Something happened to change all that, and it's very possible that George Clooney is moving fully towards an existence as a politically-motivated cartoon with Money Monster.
The Wrap reports that George Clooney is being courted to star in Money Monster, which sounds like a fun kids board game about the realities of the free market instead of a Hollywood feature film. The story follows a Jim Cramer-like money analyst on cable television who gives a bad tip - one that causes a viewer to bet big and eventually lose everything he owns. When the man takes the host hostage on live TV, the ratings predictably soar as the two, no doubt, settle in for a talky ideological debate about the ethics of money. Cosmpolis did this better a couple of years ago, but it was also pretty inscrutable, and this concept, with its guns and TV angle, seems a bit dumber and more palatable to the mainstream.
The script comes from Alan DiFiore (Grimm), Jim Kouf (Operation Dumbo Drop!) and Jamie Linden (Dear John) and Jodie Foster is looking to direct. Foster, who last directed The Beaver with Mel Gibson (she's got friends on both sides of the aisles!) has recently been at the service of Netflix helming episodes of House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. There has been no word regarding if she'll act in the movie in the movie as well, though it would be pretty interesting to have Clooney and Foster as the leads. Clooney's participation in the film is still up in the air, so it's not certain as to whether or not we'll get to see Outraged Concerned Heroic Clooney (Michael Clayton), or Blowhard Jerk Clooney (The Ides Of March) in Money Monster.
Clooney is still one of the industry's finest actors, and he's recently mixed it up in the blockbuster realm: last year's Gravity was a $700 million hit, and next summer he's the star of the Disney blockbuster Tomorrowland. But this year's The Monuments Men was a real chore to sit through, and it felt like the sort of dry filmed lecture that Ides Of March dabbled in. Worse yet, it was a big hit, generating $156 million worldwide. Basically, we're all indulging him in this soapboxing on film!
Maybe the answer is just to keep the very-busy actor-producer away from directing, but the fact is that the Money Monster premise and Clooney's pet interests in Wall Street, the media and television, offers too many opportunities for bloviating b.s., even if he offers a farcical take on cable hosts and plays the financial expert as a total comedic knobhead in the vein of his Burn After Reading performance. The production is currently in search of financing, but if they can't get Mr. George Clooney, they'll presumably be pursuing another Mr. Famous Movie Star in the hope of starting production soon.