George Clooney finds funding for political drama

Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:43am EDT
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By Gregg Kilday

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - George Clooney has lined up independent funding for "The Ides of March," a political drama which he will direct and co-star in with Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

Exclusive Media Group and nascent Cross Creek Prods. will finance and co-produce the project, which starts shooting in February in Michigan and Ohio.

Exclusive, the parent company of Los Angeles-based Spitfire Pictures and Newmarket Films, is headed by Guy East and Nigel Sinclair; Cross Creek, a nascent private equity firm with a reported $40 million in funding, is run by Brian Oliver. They will join Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smoke House and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way, which are producing.

The film is based on Beau Willimon's politically themed play "Farragut North." Clooney and Heslov have adapted the screenplay with Willimon.

Clooney is set to play Governor Morris, a candidate running in the presidential primary race for the Democratic Party ticket, with Gosling cast as his press spokesman. Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei appears as a New York Times reporter, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.

<p>Actor George Clooney speaks after a meeting about Sudan with U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) on Capitol Hill, outside the Senate Foreign Relations room in Washington October 12, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang</p>