Grant Heslov to direct Jon Ronson adaptation

George Clooney will topline, and his Smoke House partner Grant Heslov will helm, “Men Who Stare at Goats.”

Pic is an adaptation of British journalist Jon Ronson’s book about the U.S. Army’s First Earth Battalion, a unit that was to use paranormal powers. Title refers to the notion that one can kill a goat by staring at it.

Script was penned by Brit Peter Straughan (“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People”). The project has been around for some time, but international buyers only just received the script this week as the Cannes fest and market got started. Script topped the 2007 Brit List of best unproduced screenplays.

Financing and producing mix, which is still in flux, is expected to include Winchester, BBC Films and Mandate Pictures.

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