9 March 2020
By Göran R Buckhorn
The other day, it was announced that renowned American actor – but less known as a director – George Clooney has signed up to direct the film The Boys in the Boat. The film is based on Daniel James Brown’s famous book with the same title. The book was published in 2013 and made a real splash in the publishing world when it became a must-read book not only for rowers but also among non-rowers.
The website Observer.com received the news about Clooney directly from MGM, which is partnering with Lantern Entertainment to make the movie. Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company which went bankrupt.
‘The themes, characterizations and settings make it a story meant to be experienced on the big screen, and we are honored to be part of bringing it to audiences around the world,’ MGM Motion Picture Group president Jonathan Glickman said when the partnership between the two studios was first announced in 2018.
Clooney, who has six films under his belt as a director, will also produce The Boys in the Boat together with Andy Mitchell, Milos Brajovic, Kerry Roster and Grant Heslov. Clooney’s seventh film as director, The Midnight Sky, is waiting to be released.
‘Collaborating with MGM on Lantern Entertainment’s first production reinforces our commitment to foster productive partnerships anchored by powerful stories we are passionate about,’ Lantern co-presidents Mitchell and Brajovic told Observer.
The screenplay has been written by Mark L. Smith.
The film has been longtime in the making. The Weinstein Company bought the film rights even before the book about The Boys was printed. At an early stage, the Weinstein Company got the British actor and director Kenneth Branagh to agree to direct the movie. Branagh later decided not to direct The Boys.
At this point, there is no word on when the film will be released.
An unexpected but excellent choice. Clooney is a thoughtful and intelligent man who has directed seven films. I have only seen (and enjoyed) ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ (2005), a historical drama on the conflict between the journalist, Edward R. Murrow, and the anti-Communist Senator, Jo McCarthy. It was nominated for six Academy Awards including Clooney for Best Director. Because the real story of ‘The Boys in the Boat’ contains many dramatic clichés, there was a danger that a movie based on it would take the easiest line, aiming to have the movie theatres of middle America chanting ‘USA! USA!’ at the end. I suspect Clooney will be looking at the Boy’s ‘backstory’ as much as at the on the water anti-Nazi drama.
I agree with Tim, George Clooney is an excellent choice. I particularly enjoyed his Good Night, and Good Luck, too.
can someone tell me why i, a 16 year old who has never rowed a day in her life, has spent the past hour and a half reading articles and poems on this website
Rachel – Thank you for your comment. Could it be because on ‘Hear The Boat Sing’ (HTBS) you have found entertaining, witty, funny, educational and sometimes serious articles that even you as a non-rower enjoy to read? I hope so. Remember rowing can be a metaphor for LIFE. When this pandemic is over, maybe you should contact your closes rowing club to try the “real thing”. I bet you will love it. Stay safe and healthy. Best wishes, Göran, editor, HTBS.