George Clooney hasn't appeared on screen since last September's "Burn After Reading," but that's all about to change.  The popular actor has four new films on the horizon. 

First, Overture Films announced it acquired the distribution rights to Grant Heslov's directorial debut "The Men Who Stare At Goats."  A longtime producing and screenwriting partner of Clooney's Heslove shot the film last fall with his buddy, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.  Based on a true story, the picture follows a down-on-his-luck reporter (McGregor) who meets a government agent (Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret military unit with paranormal powers.  The indie outfit didn't provide a release date, but its expected to hit theaters sometime this fall.

Concurrently, Variety revealed Clooney has committed to star in Focus Features' "A Very Private Gentleman."  An adaptation of Martin Booth's novel, the thriller finds Clooney playing and assassin who hides in a picturesque Italian town before completing one last assignment.  Anton Corbijn, who received critical kudos for the 2007 biopic "Control," will direct.  Production is expected to begin this fall in Italy.

The third feature on Clooney's cinematic agenda is Jason Reitman's follow up to "Juno," the dramedy "Up in the Air."  The picture will find Clooney playing a career transition counselor (basically a firing expert) trying to accumulate 1 million frequent flyer miles and should hit theaters at Christmas. 

Oh, and Clooney will also voice the title character in Wes Anderson's animated "Fantastic Mr. Fox" this November.