George Clooney’s next Directing gig may be a based-on-a-true-story about a former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari , who leaves Wall Street to live off the grid in Northern California. He moves into a cabin in Nevada County with his wife, living an outdoor life, and says things like “All this is bigger than $700 billion.”
Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment optioned the rights to the news article “The $700 Billion Man” in the Washington Post by Laura Blumenfeld about Kashkari, who went from the stress of literally running TARP Washington to a cabin in Nevada County’s Grass Valley.
As interim assistant secretary for financial stability, Kashkari had to defend multibillion-dollar cash injections in hearings on Capitol Hill. Constituents were losing their jobs and homes; Kashkari became the object of free-floating recession rage. He sat for five oversight hearings, whose headlines ran from “Lawmakers Slam Kashkari!” to “Congressman Calls Kashkari ‘A Chump.’ ” In one House session, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) opened with a round of criticism, and then a Republican finished him off, suggesting that Kashkari resign.
“I wasn’t prepared for their hostility,” Kashkari told the Post. By then he had disbursed more than $400 billion, invested in 540 banks, implemented a $50 billion foreclosure prevention plan. He made People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” issue.
Clooney would be a great choice to explore a man living off the grid after a significantly stressful time. One imagines this could be a lot like Sean Penn’s Into the Wild. Clooney has tackled a wide variety of projects from behind the camera and being able to do something like this would be challenging for him.
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