Clooney Plays Jazz With The Boys

By Garth Franklin Thursday November 30th 2006 02:50AM

George Clooney has signed on to star in and produce two high-profile projects for Time Warner reports the trades.

The first is "White Jazz," an adaptation of a novel by James Ellroy ("L.A. Confidential," "The Black Dahlia") which Joe Carnahan ("Narc") will direct.

Matthew Carnahan ("The Kingdom") penned the adaptation of the story about a corrupt police lieutenant assigned to a potentially explosive case for the L.A.P.D. during a time when the department is under investigation for corruption.

Shooting would begin early 2008 and will be released through Warner Independent Pictures.

After that he would film "The Belmont Boys," written by writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien ("Ocean's Thirteen", "The Illusionist", "Rounders"). The story follows seven thieves who meet as railbirds at the racetrack in the old days and almost pull off the job of a lifetime. Thirty years later, they are thrown back together to finish what they started.

The film will take place in the U.S. and locations throughout Europe, with Clooney and producer Jerry Weintraub already in discussions with seven major actors for the lead roles. The film will NOT be an "Ocean's" retread and the actors will be much older, "though all big stars".

Clooney is committed to Coen Brothers film "Burn After Reading" and football movie "Leatherheads" next year.