Trailers are now available for the next film directed by George Clooney, The Monuments Men. Due out in the new year, the World War II movie is based on the true story of a platoon whose sole purpose was the retrieval of artwork stolen by the Nazis as well as making sure that classic buildings, landmarks and other important features weren’t destroyed by either side. What made this troop particularly special is that it consisted of museum directors, curators and art historians who volunteered for the task.

Clooney has said that he wanted to do a film that was ‘less cynical’ than some of his previous work. Although there have been many films based around the Second World War, he wanted to do something that was new and the tale of how the allies prevented Hitler successfully pulling off the biggest art heist ever is certainly a different war story.

Due out in the New Year, it promises to be something special if these other Clooney directed films are anything to go by.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

The Monuments Men isn’t Clooney’s first attempt at retelling a true story. In 2002, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, told the story of Chuck Barris, a popular game show presenter and producer who claimed to have a secret life as a CIA assassin. Starring Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore and Clooney himself (all of whom will be featuring in The Monuments Men), the role of Barris was taken by Sam Rockwell after an original project featuring Johnny Depp was cancelled.

Barris was a major consultant for the film to ensure that it reflected his point of view accurately. It charts his rise to success in television after the success of his song, Palisades Park. He was behind the concept for The Dating Game and The Gong Show, but while his career in front of and behind the camera was on the rise, nobody knew that he’d also been recruited as an assassin for the CIA by Jim Byrd (Clooney).

The film performed poorly at the box office, but critics were, in the main, appreciative, with Rockwell in particular being praised, winning the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival. Clooney’s directorial debut, it was described as not just a good story, but well presented, with echoes of classic spy movies.

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