Since Sony Pictures has come on board to co-finance the production of George Clooney‘s next writing/directorial effort The Monuments Men with Fox, it appears the WWII heist drama is gaining traction.
Earlier this month we learned Cate Blanchett is attached as the female lead, and Bill Murray is said to be attached as well, with Paul Giamatti and Jean Dujardin on Cloooney’s rather ambitious wishlist.
He reportedly plans to co-star and produce the film, which is based on the World War II novel by Robert Edsel, although no official details have been provided on what characters anyone will play.
Earlier reports (not confirmed) suggested that Blanchett would play Rose Valland, an art historian and member of the French Resistance, while Giamatti would play the co-founder of the New York City ballet, Lincoln Kirstein; Clooney is reportedly playing George Stout, a U.S. Army officer and leading art conservationist, who repatriated tens of thousands of pieces of art from the Nazis.
The love story part of the story which follows the art historians who landed at Normandy to rescue art looted by Adolf Hitler would revolve around Valland, who tracked the location of the stolen art.
… the book recounts a story not only largely unknown but also filled with fish-out-of-water intrigue. The group of 11 civilian art experts included Lincoln Kirstein, the founder of the New York City Ballet; George Stout, who worked at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum; and James J. Rorimer, from the Metropolitan Museum.
The team had never trained for combat, and yet they faced live fire—two of them even died on the mission. Even though the experts were mere privates, they occasionally had to shout out battlefield instructions—’Don’t aim your tank over there, that’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa!’ Clooney suggested—to preserve the works of art they were charged to find.
Production, set to get underway in Germany, Austria, and Paris next spring, was also not yet confirmed.