Will produce 'The Yankee Commandante' with Grant Heslov

Focus Features is going to Cuba, attaching George Clooney to direct and produce “The Yankee Commandante” via his Smokehouse Pictures banner.

Clooney’s producing partner Grant Heslov will also produce, according to Clooney’s reps.

Focus won bidding this week for feature rights to “Commandante,” based on David Grann’s recent New Yorker story about William Alexander Morgan, an American who led a guerrilla force with Fidel Castro in Cuba’s Escambray Mountains that helped overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in late 1958. He also foiled a coup attempt by the Dominican Republic’s dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1959 but fell out of Castro’s favor thereafter due to his anti-Communist beliefs and was executed in 1961.

Clooney’s last directing effort was “The Ides of March.” He will be seen next in “Gravity” for Warner Bros.

Clooney and Grann are repped by CAA.

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