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Clooney, Fox 2000 circle ‘Monster of Florence’

Actor will produce, possibly star in serial-killer tale

George Clooney will produce and may star in serial-killer thriller “The Monster of Florence” for Fox 2000 with Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks and Clooney’s Smoke House partner Grant Heslov also producing.

The project’s been picked up in turnaround from MGM, which picked up the book by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi as a possible starring vehicle in 2008 for Tom Cruise while he was running United Artists. MGM’s massive debt load has frozen development at the studio, which has recently gone through a pre-packaged bankruptcy and reorganization.

“Monster of Florence” recounted eight grisly double homicides believed to have been committed single-handedly between 1968 and 1985 in Florence. Chris McQuarrie and “Valkyrie” co-writer Nathan Alexander have been signed to adapt the book.

Clooney will be seen next in Fox Serachlight’s comedy “The Descendants” and he’s signed on to direct and star in “The Ides of March,” an adaptation of the Broadway play “Farragut North.” Clooney’s also come on board opposite Sandra Bullock for Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D space station thriller “Gravity” for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

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