George Clooney is in talks to headline Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof's secretive project at Disney. Codenamed "1952," the film has been in development for over a year, but precious few details have emerged.
A few weeks ago, some reports indicated that the film will attempt to "capture the spirit" of Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Initially, it was thought that "1952" would be concerned with extraterrestrials like that film, but that might not be the case.
At any rate, the film is said to center around a middle-aged man who becomes a Roy Neary-like obsessive, and Variety reports that Clooney could be filling this role for Disney. He's unofficially negotiating with the studio, who had no comment when pressed about the development.
Officially, the film isn't truly greenlit yet, but Lindelof has penned a script along with Jeff Jensen. Disney expects the film to be a "high-profile tentpole" whenever it's released.
This project has been so enigmatic that the internet ran wild with speculation that it might be connected with Disney's acquisition of "Star Wars." Some sites even concocted the theory that "1952" was simply the codename for Episode VII itself, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
Brad Bird is expected to direct "1952," and, if so, that might actually take him out of the running for Episode VII. While he hasn't expressed interest in helming the upcoming sequel, he would seemingly be a prime candidate considering his working relationship with Disney.
Collider makes a good point that "1952" could be so far off into the future--again, it's not even officially greenlit--that it might not affect Bird's availability for "Star Wars" if Disney and Lucasfilm were to approach him to direct.
Either way, sci-fi and fantasy junkies have a lot to look forward to from the Mouse House during the next few years.