George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures are in final negotiations to sign an exclusive two-year theatrical development and production deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In an official press release today, Clooney said, “Warner Bros. has been a great place to work and I’ve felt like part of a family for almost 20 years. So in moving on, I’m leaving a terrific company and a lot of dear friends. They’re a class act. In looking ahead, I’m tremendously excited to be working at Sony Pictures, and we all feel like it’s a perfect match for Smokehouse. Grant Heslov and I hope to deliver the kind of films that will make them proud.”
The company still has several projects in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. These include an adaptation of John Grisham’s non-fiction bestseller “The Innocent Man” about a murder in Oklahoma, and the Iowa presidential primary-set “Farragut North” based on Beau Willimon’s critically acclaimed play.
There’s also the Aaron Sorkin-penned legal drama “The Challenge” about terrorist lawyers who sued the Bush administration, the Bolivian election spin doctor satire “Our Brand is Crisis”, the spy thriller “The Tourist” which Tom Cruise was previously linked with, and “Escape from Tehran” about the true story of a CIA-backed film production crew trying to smuggle hostages out of Iran in 1979.