New Production Deal Means George Clooney Has More Firepower for Documentaries Like His OSU Scandal/Jim Jordan Film

Under the contract, Clooney, a Greater Cincinnati area native, will produce both scripted and unscripted content.

click to enlarge Actor/director/producer George Clooney speaks at the Kennedy Center Honors dinner after receiving his award on Dec. 4, 2022. - Photo: U.S. Department of State, public domain, Wikimedia Commons
Actor/director/producer George Clooney speaks at the Kennedy Center Honors dinner after receiving his award on Dec. 4, 2022.

One of Cincinnati's most famous smiles is a little wider these days.

Smokehouse Pictures, the production company actor/director/producer George Clooney owns with producer Grant Heslov, has entered into multi-year deal with 101 Studios, the company behind Paramount+ streaming hits like Yellowstone and Mayor of Kingstown. Deadline reports that the deal is for both scripted and unscripted content.

Smokehouse and 101 already have been working together on a documentary about the Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal that ran rampant from 1978-1998. Richard Strauss, who was Ohio State’s team physician at the time, allegedly abused members of the wrestling team, for which now-Rep. Jim Jordan was an assistant coach. Strauss also allegedly abused or raped students in other sports as well as non-athletes. The physician died by suicide in 2005.

Several former Ohio State athletes have said that Jordan knew about the alleged abuse. Jordan has denied their claims.

The documentary, which also is being produced by Sports Illustrated Studios and is based on an October 2020 Sports Illustrated story by Jon Wertheim, has not yet been released, but HBO owns the distribution rights to it.

Clooney, who was born in Lexington and had attended Greater Cincinnati area schools, was recognized during the 45th Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 4 for his contributions to the arts over his long career. The Renaissance man starred on '80s sitcom The Facts of Life and the hit '90s medical drama ER, led countless films like Michael Clayton and Up in the Air and has been behind documentaries such as The Art of Political Murder. He's won two Academy Awards and four Golden Globes and has been part of powerful political and humanitarian movements beside his attorney wife Amal. 

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