Variety has announced that George Clooney will star in Men Who Stare At Goats, a big screen adaptation of Jon Ronson's scary-because-its-true book. Clooney's Smoke House partner Grant Heslov will direct, while Peter Straughan has penned the script.
Ronson's book is an investigation into the secret wing of the U.S. First Earth Battalion. It was a paranormal research unit created in 1979 with the purpose of creating "Warrior Monks," soldiers who could walk through walls, become invisible, read minds, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it long enough. One ex-Army employee Ronson interviewed claims that he actually did kill his pet hamster and a goat by staring at them for a very long time. While the book is full of kookiness, it does branch out to discuss how the paranormal project has come to play in the current Iraq war. Not only have some of First Earth's research projects been employed as torture, a few of those claiming to have developed superpowers have reportedly been deployed to Iraq. Our tax dollars at work, people.
It all sounds like one of the funnier episodes of The X-Files -- a perfect project for Clooney; the right mix of political activism and screwball humor. Frankly, I'm sold by the title alone. Here's hoping they won't change it to appeal to a wider America.