Serial killers will always be fascinating fodder for cinematic storytelling, and this is especially true when the tale is based on a real-life killer who was never caught. Bong Joon-ho’s Memories Of Murder and David Fincher’s Zodiac are probably the two finest examples of the mini-genre, but a new contender has just been announced that combines a strong film-maker pedigree alongside some truly heinous unsolved crimes.

The Monster Of Florence is based on the 2008 non-fiction bestseller from Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, and it explores a series of gruesome killings that took place in Florence, Italy between 1968 and 1985. Sixteen people were killed in all, mostly couples, with the victims typically shot and stabbed multiple times. Many of the women also had their breasts and/or pubic areas mutilated. So that’s pretty effed up and gross. A handful of men were arrested and imprisoned over the years, but the killings continued as they sat in jail cells.

The book sees Preston moving his family to the area where he meets up with Spezi, a local expert on the killings, and the two begin to dig into the case with a renewed fervor. Their theory as to the killer’s identity clashed with the official versions, and Preston himself was eventually forced to leave the country under threat of arrest. Apparently corruption and intentional misconduct are the norm in the Italian legal system. Who knew?

The film from Fox2000 has a script in development from Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander with George Clooney on board as producer and star. Clooney will most likely play Preston as he’s the only American in the story. [THR]

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