There's been a lot of cool George Clooney news recently, but this latest bit might be the most intriguing to me: Variety is reporting that Warner Bros has bought the rights to Our Brand is Crisis, a documentary about American political operatives working in Bolivia, for Clooney to produce — as well as potentially star in and direct. According to Variety, the movie is being re-envisioned as a dark comedy about "the dangers of exporting American democracy."
The "dark comedy" bit is curious, because the excellent 2005 documentary is anything but funny. It focuses on James Carville's political consulting firm as they travel to Bolivia to advise a candidate in the 2002 national election, using tactics — focus groups, catchy slogans — often employed in U.S. elections. Their candidate ultimately won by a narrow margin, but the country quickly descended into violent chaos with him in power, and he was forced to step down.
It's pretty dark as a drama, so I'm curious to see how they spin it into a black comedy. Still, the whole underdog-turned-victor-by-way-of-devious-American-political-tactics bit is a compelling story, and I'd love to see Clooney in the movie — either as the wayward candidate or the consultant who steps up to advise him. Has anyone else seen the documentary? If so, could you see it working as fiction?