George Clooney Attached to Star in Fox 2000’s ‘Monster of Florence’

Oscar winner Chris McQuarrie and his “Valkyrie” co-writer Nathan Alexander will write the script

George Clooney must've really liked filming "The American" in Italy, as the Oscar-winning actor is attached to star in Fox 2000's adaptation of Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's best-selling book "Monster of Florence," the studio has confirmed to TheWrap.

Oscar winner Chris McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects") and his "Valkyrie" co-writer Nathan Alexander will adapt the book, which chronicles a killer (or killers) known as Il Mostro who is believed to have murdered 16 people between 1968 and 1985 in the province of Florence, Italy.

Three individuals were arrested and convicted in relation to the case, yet Preston and Spezi concluded that someone else was likely the killer, although at one point, the authors themselves were targets of the police investigation.

The case inspired one of the characters in Thomas Harris' novel "Hannibal," and although the Il Mostro subplot was cut from Ridley Scott's adaptation, it can be found on the DVD's deleted scenes.

Clooney and his Smoke House partner Grant Heslov will produce "Monster of Florence" with Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who have a long history with the project, which Tom Cruise had previously set up at United Artists back when he was running the studio.

Cruise optioned the rights and planned to produce and potentially star in the film, and it was Cruise who initially set McQuarrie to adapt the book and produce the picture. "Monster of Florence" went into turnaround after UA stalled amid MGM's restructuring problems, prompting Jinks and Cohen to find a new home for the project.

Clooney next stars in Alexander Payne's comedy "The Descendants," which Fox Searchlight will release in March, when Clooney is scheduled to start filming Sony's "The Ides of March. Ryan Gosling stars in the feature adaptation of Beau Willimon's acclaimed play "Farragut North." Clooney also recently signed on to play a supporting role opposite Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," so "Monster of Florence" won't go before cameras until the fall at the earliest.

Clooney is represented by CAA and his attachment to "Florence" was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.