George Clooney to produce Smothers Brothers biopic
It's unknown whether he'll star in film about controversial '60s TV comedians
George Clooney will continue his interest in real-life characters by adapting the life story of radical '60s comedian-musicians Tom and Dicky Smothers for the big screen.
Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov have optioned the David Bianculli's "Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" for Sony.
Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman, who wrote the Black Listed script "Atari," about video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell, will pen the screenplay. While Clooney and Heslov are producing, it's unknown at this time if Clooney will star, according to Deadline.com, who broke the story.
Best known for the popular "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," which ran on CBS from 1967 to '69, the duo helped bring countercultural left-wing ideas to the comedy mainstream by openly mocking President Nixon while decrying racism and the Vietnam War. The show had a hip, young writing staff that included Steven Martin and Rob Reiner, and often featured edgy rock acts such as The Who, Buffalo Springfield, Cream, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Eventually, the Smothers' style earned them the ire of CBS who pulled the plug on the show.
The 2002 documentary "Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" traces the show's turbulent history.
The Brothers' subsequent appearances on TV, in film and on stage (both together and separate) never had quite the impact of the "Comedy Hour."
Clooney and Heslov previously teamed for several fact-based films, including the Edward R. Murrow biopic "Good Night, and Good Luck," and "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," based on the purported life story of game show host-turned-spy Chuck Barris.
They recently co-produced "The Ides of March," and Clooney can also be currently seen in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."