Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clooney Will Take The Challenge!

George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smoke House Productions have aquired the rights to Jonathan Mahler's legal thriller "The Challenge," about "the long campaign waged by U.S. Navy lawyer Charles Swift and Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal to ensure a fair trial for Salim Hamdan, the bodyguard and driver of Osama bin Laden." It is strongly believed that Clooney will definately star and may even direct the feature. It is also believed that Clooney's company Smoke House has been circling the property for a while. Variety said, "Smoke House execs met with the writer months before the book's recent publication. While there had been interest from other potential buyers, Clooney's persistence is believed to have played a key role in persuading Mahler to sign with Smoke House."

Hamdan was sentenced Aug. 7 by a panel of military officers at Guantanamo Bay to a prison term of 66 months, including time already served. The Yemeni-born convict was found guilty of material support for terrorism but cleared of the more serious charges of conspiracy to commit murder, seen by some analysts as a victory for retired naval officer Swift's efforts.

Mahler's book ends with the landmark 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the military tribunals ordered for Hamdan and other Guantanamo Bay detainees violated the Geneva Convention and the Uniform Code for Military Justice. While Mahler is planning to update the paperback edition of his book to include Hamdan's trial verdict, it is unclear when Clooney's bigscreen adaptation of "The Challenge" will end.

Thoughts on Clooney's newest Smoke House pick up? Clooney does seem perfect for the role!