Par’s ‘Jacket’ fits Clooney-Soderbergh

Rocco scripted, to direct Section Eight's first pic

NEW YORK — Producing partners George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh are set to produce “The Jacket,” a Mandalay film that was scripted and will be directed by Marc Rocco and distributed domestically by Paramount.

For Clooney and Soderbergh, the pic is the first film under their Warner Bros.-based Section Eight banner.

“The Jacket” concerns a Vietnam vet who returns to America after a tour of duty, and promptly gets railroaded into a prison farm on a murder charge. He learns from a fellow inmate how to mentally time travel to the future to escape the pain of incarceration. But the vet finds time travel also might allow him to square things with the person who framed him. For Rocco, the pic shares themes with his best-known film, “Murder in the First.”

Clooney and Soderbergh, who worked together on “Out of Sight,” became partners after Clooney’s Maysville partnership with Robert Lawrence dissolved.

They are on course for early 2001 production start of the Warner Bros. remake of the Rat Pack comedy “Ocean’s Eleven.” Soderbergh is directing with Clooney and Jerry Weintraub producing and an ensemble that includes Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg and others. Rocco’s repped by CAA.

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