George Clooney enters a life of crime

He’s joining White Jazz and directing heist film The Belmont Boys

With the sheer number of films that George Clooney’s signed on to across the next couple of years, it’s a wonder he’ll have time to live his usual bachelor lifestyle or make any appearances on behalf of environmental or political issues.

Because Mr Clooney has just agreed to star or direct in two films, which when added to his next directing job (sports rom com Leatherheads, which he’s also starring in alongside Renée Zellweger) and Coen project Burn After Reading (about a CIA agent who is writing a book and loses the disc) will mean that his filmmaking dance card will be punched until the end of 2009.

Early 2008 will find him starring in Joe Carnahan’s White Jazz, which has been adapted by the director and his brother, Matthew Michael Carnahan. It’s adapted from James Ellroy’s follow-up to LA Confidential and will see Clooney playing a corrupt cop in LA who skirts the rules and finds himself in hot water when the mob pins a murder on him.

Once he’s done with the cops, he’ll switch his attention – and slap back on his director’s hat – for The Belmont Boys. Shepherded by Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen producer Jerry Weintraub, it tracks a group of seven thieves who plot the perfect bank robbery after meeting at a horse race. But when the crime doesn’t go perfectly to plan, they’re forced to split. They return to complete the task – but 30 years later.

That sound you hear is George Clooney’s diary creaking under the weight of all these new agreements.

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