George Clooney has just been cast in the lead role of director Anton Corbijn’s upcoming film, The American. I wonder how this will fit in with Clooney’s work on Hamdan V Rumsfeld? According to Focus, the suspense thriller based on Martin Booth’s novel, “A Very Private Gentleman” will be starting production this week in Italy (sounds like someone needed a trip to their Lake Como house).

Focus Features just sent over the following press release about the film…

The screenplay by Rowan Joffe is adapted from Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman, published in 2005. The film’s producers are This is that’s Anne Carey, who most recently produced Adventureland and The Savages; Smokehouse’s Grant Heslov, an Academy Award nominee as producer and co-writer of Good Night, and Good Luck, and producer/director of this fall’s The Men Who Stare at Goats; Smokehouse’s Mr. Clooney; Ann Wingate, who most recently produced Into the Storm, starring Emmy Award winner Brendan Gleeson; and Jill Green, executive producer of the long-running U.K. television series Foyle’s War. Enzo Sisti, co-producer of the upcoming When in Rome, is executive producer of The American.

And now let’s get some of those plot details…

Alone among assassins, Jack (played by Mr. Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman of this fall’s Peter and Vandy) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of Focus’ award-winning In Bruges), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian screen and stage veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

What do you think about Clooney joining The American?