25 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

George Clooney is reteaming with filmmakers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for their third film together, Burn Before Reading, a spy caper about a CIA agent who loses the disc of the book he is writing.

The film will mark a more comedic take on the world of spooks than Clooney's recent Oscar-winning dramatic turn in Syriana. Clooney will play a killer in the comedy, which the screenwriting duo are adapting from former CIA director Stansfield Turner's 2005 nonfiction tome "Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence."

Working Title Films, which acquired the rights to the Hyperion book, will produce the film. Working Title also produced 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou? the first film Clooney made with the Coens.

"Burn" is slated to start principal photography in August to mid-September, after Clooney completes directing his 1920s football film Leatherheads, in which he is expected to star with Renee Zellweger.

The Coens co-write their films, which are directed by Joel Coen and produced by Ethan Coen.

In addition to "Brother," Clooney starred in the Coens' 2003 comedy Intolerable Cruelty, in which he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The Coens have backburnered Suburbicon as well as the period comedy Hail Caesar, about a '20s Shakespeare troupe, in which Clooney was planning to play a hammy actor with a pencil mustache. The Coens' adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem, is slated for release next year by Paramount Vantage. The Coens won the Oscar for best original screenplay for 1996's Fargo.

Clooney is repped by CAA; the Coens are repped by UTA.


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