George Clooney Buying Rights To Grisham's ‘ The Innocent Man’

Thursday, December 7th 2006, 12:31 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ George Clooney will produce a movie based on the John Grisham book ``The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.''

``It's a project in development,'' Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, said Thursday.

He declined to release details of the agreement but said no decision had been made on whether Clooney might direct or appear in the movie.

Smoke House _ Clooney's company with producing partner Grant Heslov _ bought the movie rights along with Warner Independent Pictures, Warner spokeswoman Laura Kim said Thursday.

``The script hasn't been written,'' she said.

Kim said she could not confirm a report Wednesday in Daily Variety that said Grisham would receive a seven-figure payment against a share of the movie's gross receipts.

``The Innocent Man'' is a nonfiction work about Ron Williamson [pictured], who spent nearly a dozen years on Oklahoma's death row after he was wrongfully convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of a cocktail waitress. Another man, Dennis Fritz, was sentenced to life in prison. Retesting of the semen and hair follicles used in the original case freed the men in 1999 and pointed to Glen D. Gore, who had testified against Williamson. Gore later was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Williamson drank heavily following his release from prison and died of cirrhosis of the liver in 2004 at the age of 51.