George Clooney is stepping back into the political arena for his latest project. According to Variety, Clooney has purchased the rights to Jonathan Mahler's book, The Challenge for his Smoke House production company. The book focuses on the efforts of US Navy lawyer Charles Swift and Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal and their arduous journey to ensure that Salim Hamdan, the bodyguard and driver for Osama bin Laden, would receive a fair trial.
It isn't clear what Clooney's participation would be in the film, but there is the chance that he could write, direct, produce or star in the film, as he's done before with films in his Smoke House banner he runs with writer-producer Grant Heslov. There is speculation that Clooney could portray Swift, the idealistic attorney, in the film.
It is also unclear about the storyline, to some extent. Mahler's book ended with the 2006 Supreme Court ruling that stated the military tribunals that Hamdan went through were against the Geneva Convention and the Uniform Code for Military Justice. Last week, Hamdan was sentenced to 66 months (including time already served) for material support against terrorism, but his conspiracy to commit murder charges were dropped, which was perceived by some as a victory for Swift and Katyal. Mahler has said there are plans to update the paperback version of his recently-published book with the trial verdict, but it isn't known whether the movie will include this information.
No production schedule was released for the film.