Two-time Oscar winner George Clooney is in negotiations to direct and produce the coming-of-age film The Tender Bar for Amazon Studios.
The film is based on the bestselling 2005 memoir by J.R. Moehringer, about a boy growing up in Long Island who seeks out unlikely father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar. It’s unclear whether Clooney plans to act in the film himself, but he has starred in every film he has directed with the exception of his most recent movie, Suburbicon, where he entrusted the lead to his Ocean’s 11 pal Matt Damon.
Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan (The Departed) will adapt Moehringer’s memoir, and should Clooney close a deal to direct, he would also produce with his Smokehouse banner Grant Heslov. The film will also be produced by former Amazon exec Ted Hope, who was likely instrumental in the studio acquiring the project out of turnaround from Sony, which had been developing the film with Hidden Figures director Ted Melfi.
Clooney had been circling the MGM project Boys in the Boat, about the University of Washington rowing team that won a gold medal at the 1936 Olympics, but he ultimately decided to make The Tender Bar his next directorial effort. I think it’s an interesting choice for Clooney, who has never made anything like this before, and may thrive taking on a new creative challenge.
The Tender Bar will arrive on the heels of his upcoming Netflix movie The Midnight Sky, a post-apocalyptic thriller in which he plays a lonely scientist in the Arctic who tries to stop a team of astronauts led by Felicity Jones from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
Clooney was last seen playing Christopher Abbott‘s dimwitted commander Scheisskopf in Hulu’s limited series adaptation of Catch-22, for which he also directed a handful of episodes. Deadline broke the news about The Tender Bar.