George Clooney is developing a narrative film version of 'The White Helmets', a 41 minute Netflix documentary by Orlando von Einsiedel (We Are Fire, King of the Mountain) on a body of daring Syrian warzone rescuers. The project is being handled by his production company, Smokehouse Pictures, alongside his partner Grant Heslov. The production is currently searching for a screenwriter, and no word yet on if the creators of the Oscar nominated short documentary will be involved in any capacity.

Who is Clooney's film about?

The Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets as named after their garb, are a Syrian volunteer aid group who head into areas, usually populated, to help out casualties of the ongoing Civil War.

Risking life and limb, the unarmed volunteers run into the rubble caused by the extensive bombing campaigns and help dig out trapped civilians, targets having included apartment complexes and schools. In total, it is currently estimated that the work of the White Helmets has saved over 70,000 lives in the five years of the war, at the cost of 154 of their roughly 3000 strong team. The von Einsiedel documentary was released on September 16, 2016, the same year that the group was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Clooney is no stranger to Eastern affairs

Previously, Clooney´s production company had made several films tied to the Middle East. These include the award winning thrillers 'Syriana' (which also he starred in, and landed him a best supporting actor Academy Award), 'Argo' and dark comedy 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' (also directed by Heslov), as well as appeared in David O Russell's war dramedy 'Three Kings'.

He has also been involved in documentaries similar to 'White Helmets', narrating 'Sand and Sorrow', as well as appearing in 'Darfur Now', both projects tide to humanitarian crises and abuses in Africa. Clooney himself has traveled to Syria, back in March of this year with his wife Amal, to meet refugees and mark the fifth anniversary of the conflict.