‘Clayton’ gets Clooney

George is lawyering up for new film

George Clooney will topline “Michael Clayton,” an indie legal thriller penned by and marking the helming debut of “The Bourne Supremacy” scribe Tony Gilroy.

Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s Section Eight, as well as Samuels Media, Mirage Enterprises and Castle Rock Entertainment, produce.

Samuels Media, headed by founder Steve Samuels, will finance “Clayton.” Samuels recently completed “Half Light,” a supernatural thriller written and directed by Craig Rosenberg and starring Demi Moore. Samuels is also an executive producer on “Running With Scissors,” adapted and helmed by Ryan Murphy from Augusten Burroughs’ bestselling memoir.

In “Clayton,” Clooney will play an elite New York attorney known among his colleagues as “the Janitor” because for 15 years he’s worked behind the scenes to clean up his high-profile clients’ messy personal problems. Story takes place over the four worst days of his career.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin in January in New York City. Patrick Wachsberger of Summit Entertainment will handle foreign sales and is pre-selling the international rights at Cannes.

Gilroy’s credits also include “Devil’s Advocate” and “Proof of Life.”

Section Eight recently produced “Ocean’s Twelve,” is in post-production on “Syriana” and “Good Night and Good Luck” and is prepping “The Good German.”

Castle Rock Entertainment, founded by Martin Shafer, Alan Horn, Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman and Glenn Padnick, is in production on “In the Land of Women,” starring Meg Ryan and Adam Brody, under the direction of Jonathan Kasdan.

CAA repped Clooney, Section Eight, Mirage and Gilroy.

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