George Clooney To Assassinate 'Goats'... Wait, What?

George ClooneyOkay, that headline isn't entirely accurate. Sure paints an amusing picture though, doesn't it? The actual news is that George Clooney has been keeping very busy at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival. Variety brings word that two Cloonster projects have been picked up by two different studios.

In "A Very Private Gentleman," adapted from the Martin Booth novel, Clooney will play an assassin who settles into a backcountry town in Italy as he prepares for his next assignment. The normally "Private" man's exterior crumbles as small-town relationships take hold. Universal's art house division Focus Features picked up the film, with Anton Corbijn in place to direct.

For those who are unfamiliar, Corbijn has done a ton of work as a music video director. He gave us videos for Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" and U2's "One." Palm Pictures released a Corbijn collection on DVD as part of their Director's Label series, which has also highlighted the work of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, Mark Romanek, Jonathan Glazer and Stephane Sednaoui.

Getting back to the aforementioned "Goats," Overture snapped up "Men Who Stare At Goats," an adaptation of the Joe Ronson novel produced by Clooney's Smokehouse. The military comedy follows a journalist (Ewan McGregor) who falls in with a secret army unit tasked with developing tactics built around paranormal activities. Also confirmed for the film are Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Robert Patrick, Stephen Root and Rebecca Mader.

I don't know much about "Goats" but the premise is enough to get me to pick up the book. Clooney may be Mr. Smooth, but he's proven himself to be an extremely versatile actor. Just don't ever, ever cast him as a superhero. I'm looking forward to seeing how both of these upcoming projects pan out.

What are some of your favorite Clooney performances? Which might he channel for "Gentleman" and "Goats"? Have you been enjoying Clooney's choices as he's shifted into more and more producer roles or would you prefer to just see him act and look pretty?