George Clooney to Pursue The Monster of Florence

Now this is a George Clooney flick I can get behind: the true story of how an American thriller writer moved to Italy, teamed up with a fellow Italian writer, and together, solved a 30-year old serial murder case that claimed the lives of six couples between 1974 and 1985 who were just trying to get a little somethin’ somethin’. The killer was essentially Italy’s version of Jack The Ripper, or the Zodiac Killer, and he was never caught. That’s just one of the book’s intriguing plots — the other is how the Italian authorities really, really didn’t want authors Douglas Preston and his colleague Mario Spezi to get involved, and did everything they could to stop them.

More about the book from Amazon:

When author Douglas Preston moved his family to Florence he never expected he would soon become obsessed and entwined in a horrific crime story whose true-life details rivaled the plots of his own bestselling thrillers. While researching his next book, Preston met Mario Spezi, an Italian journalist who told him about the Monster of Florence, Italy’s answer to Jack the Ripper, a terror who stalked lovers’ lanes in the Italian countryside. The killer would strike at the most intimate time, leaving mutilated corpses in his bloody wake over a period from 1968 to 1985. One of these crimes had taken place in an olive grove on the property of Preston’s new home. That was enough for him to join “Monsterologist” Spezi on a quest to name the killer, or killers, and bring closure to these unsolved crimes. Local theories and accusations flourished: the killer was a cuckolded husband; a local aristocrat; a physician or butcher, someone well-versed with knives; a satanic cult. Thomas Harris even dipped into “Monster” lore for some of Hannibal Lecter’s more Grand Guignol moments in Hannibal. Add to this a paranoid police force more concerned with saving face and naming a suspect (any suspect) than with assessing the often conflicting evidence on hand, and an unbelievable twist that finds both authors charged with obstructing justice, with Spezi jailed on suspicion of being the Monster himself. The Monster of Florence is split into two sections: the first half is Spezi’s story, with the latter bringing in Preston’s updated involvement on the case.

The latest word on the non-fiction bestseller has Fox 2000 closing a deal to turn the book into a movie with Clooney as star. “The Usual Suspects'” Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander have also boarded the project as writers.

McQuarrie has long been involved with adapting the novel into a movie, and will remain as producer. The project was previously attached to Tom Cruise.