Clooney and the Coens: together again

Spies and government-trained assassins are enjoying a resurgence in Hollywood of late. What with Matt Damon in Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd, alongside, er, Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum, and a certain agent back working for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It won’t be long before Paris Hilton will be spotted at top LA clubs with her own personal secret agent pet.

But back to the matter in hand – and word that George Clooney is getting back together with old mates Joel and Ethan Coen, with whom he made Intolerable Cruelty and O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Coen Brothers have nabbed a book by former CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner, who wrote Burn After Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors and Secret Intelligence.

Somewhat understandably, they’re chopping the title to just Burn After Reading and have loosely based their script adaptation on it, telling the tale of a CIA operative who is writing a book about the intelligence agency but loses the disc containing his manuscript. Clooney, however, will not be playing the clumsy spy guy but a hired gun that somehow finds himself crossing paths with our hero.

Once Clooney’s finished shooting Yank football rom-com Leatherheads, he’ll start work on Burn – but don’t expect the cameras to roll until next August.