Echo movie

George Clooney is planning his next film: a sci-fi thriller called Echo. Clooney is in early talks to helm the movie, which focuses on everyone’s two favorite things: drones and paranoia.

Don’t let the title fool you: Echo is not the long-awaited sequel to Earth to Echo. Instead, it’s an adult sci-fi thriller that’s caught the eye of handsome man/actor/director George Clooney. Deadline says Clooney is in early talks to helm the film, which has a script from Christopher MacBride. MacBride wrote the surprisingly creepy (and mostly under-seen) found-footage flick The Conspiracy, so it’s nice to see him moving up in the world.

Echo is described as “an original thriller with a sci-fi edge in which a drone specialist has a psychological crisis: is he paranoid in suspecting his lover is not who she appears to be, and could she possibly have been replaced?” This sounds a bit like the terrible Johnny Depp/Charlize Theron sci-fi film The Astronaut’s Wife, with a little Invasion of the Body Snatchers thrown in for good measures.

If Clooney does end up directing this, it will be his first foray into genre filmmaking. All his previous films were primarily dramas or (dark) comedies. Can the filmmaker deliver a strong sci-fi thriller? He’s certainly worked with enough filmmakers to pick up a thing or two, and maybe diving into a new genre is exactly what Clooney needs.

Clooney kicked-off his directing career with 2002’s very good Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, a pitch-black comedy that focused on the “true” story of how The Gong Show host Chuck Barris lead a double-life as a CIA assassin. Clooney followed this up with the fantastic (and still eerily timely) Good Night and Good Luck, about TV journalist Edward R. Murrow’s attempts to bring down fear-mongering Senator Joseph McCarthy. Since then, however, Clooney’s directorial efforts have left a lot to be desired.

The football comedy Leatherheads was an absolute dud. The political thriller The Ides of March had a phenomenal cast, but didn’t quite resonate as much as it should have. The World War II film The Monuments Men also wasted a good cast on a poor script. And Clooney’s 2017 film Suburbicon might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

All that said, I think Clooney has more good movies up his sleeve, and I’m curious to see what he does with Echo (should he ultimately decide to direct it). In the meantime, Clooney’s next turn behind the camera will be on the small screen – he directed the first episode of Hulu’s upcoming Catch-22 adaptation.

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