By Mack Chico
George Clooney is in talks to star in “Up in the Air,” an adaptation of the Walter Kirn novel that Jason Reitman adapted and will direct for DreamWorks.
Clooney will play an unapologetic corporate downsizer whose untethered life is consumed by collecting air miles.
The project is set up at the Montecito Picture Co., which has its first-look deal with DreamWorks.
Producers are Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck and Jeff Clifford for Montecito and Hard C’s Daniel Dubiecki and Jason Reitman. Ted Griffin will also be involved in a producing capacity.
Kirn’s novel was previously set up at Fox 2000 and Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures.
Montecito has controlled the book since 2004, when it was bought and packaged with a spec script by “The Longest Yard” scribe Sheldon Turner, with Griffin producing.
Reitman had separately been infatuated with the book and came into Montecito with 30 pages that showed how he saw the film. He has been writing it on and off for five years, putting it down when he read Diablo Cody’s “Juno” script. Reitman returned to the project in the spring (Daily Variety, May 15). He completed the script weeks ago and just showed it to Clooney.
Reitman and Dubiecki just completed producing the Karyn Kusama-directed Cody-scripted cheerleader-from-hell comic thriller “Jennifer’s Body” for Fox Atomic. Reitman hopes for “Up in the Air” to be his directorial followup to “Juno.”
Clooney will next be seen in “Burn After Reading“ and is voicing the title character in “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Wes Anderson’s animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel.