Clooney, Soderbergh orbit sci-fi 'Solaris'

George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh are planning to reteam for a third time on “Solaris,” which is being produced by James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Pic is expected to start shooting next April.

As yet no deal is in place for either Clooney or Soderbergh on the pic, though both have confirmed their interest.

Clooney and Soderbergh previously teamed on the Elmore Leonard adaptation “Out of Sight” in 1998 and on Warner Bros.’ “Ocean’s Eleven,” which will be released Stateside Dec. 7. They are also partnered in their Warner Bros.-based production entity Section Eight.

Though discussions are preliminary at this stage, Soderbergh may also steer the project through the newly formed director’s film shingle, whose domestic deal is housed with USA Films (Daily Variety, Oct. 14). Under such a scenario, Fox would likely take international distribution rights, with domestic landing at USA Films. Section Eight will not take a producing role in the pic.

Sci-fi thriller “Solaris” is an adaptation of a Russian novel by Stanislaw Lem that was first shot in 1972 as a Russian production directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Story revolves around an astronaut sent to rescue scientists on a space station. He finds the commander dead and the two survivors driven mad by visions that soon appear to him as well. The project originated at Lightstorm and Fox.

Clooney, repped by CAA, is filming his directorial debut “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” the Chuck Barris biopic starring Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore, for Miramax Films. He will next reteam with the Coen brothers on their feature “Intolerable Cruelty,” co-starring Catherine Zeta-Jones for Imagine Films and Universal.

Soderbergh is shooting the low-budget feature “Full Frontal” for Miramax Films; drama’s ensemble cast features Roberts, David Duchovny and Catherine Keener. Soderbergh is repped by manager Pat Dollard.

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