George Clooney's 'Monuments Men' Will Star Bill Murray And Cate Blanchett; Gets Split Between Sony And Fox

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George Clooney is no stranger to criminal activities. With films like Ocean's Eleven, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Out of Sight, more often than you might remember, he plays a character who steals or kills for a living. Does that make him the perfect person to direct a film on the subject?

Earlier this year, Clooney signed on to star and direct Monuments Men, the true story of art historians who attempted to protect the world's greatest pieces of art from a thieving Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. He's been trying to get the film together (along with another movie) and it seems that Sony has now agreed to split the cost of this one with 20th Century Fox. That should help get the film going sooner, as well the attachment of Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray in unspecified roles. Read more after the jump.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the latest update on the film, citing that Sony has been shuffling around their schedule in efforts to save money (a fact Deadline hypothesizes has to do with Ghostbusters 3 shooting next year).

Here's the description of Monuments Men from Amazon, which reportedly will cost around $50 million:

At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.  Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It sounds like a real life Oceans Twelve with half the members, and real life or death consequences.  I'm so very all-in with this concept, blending collectibles and history with Hollywood thrills. Argo immediately comes to mind, and that film's success (also directed by a prominent actor) probably is helping push the film together.

Are you surprised Sony is splitting the film with Fox? Do you wish more studios would do such a thing? And what about George Clooney teaming with Blanchett and Murray?