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George Clooney jumps from Warner Bros. to Sony

June 30, 2009 | 12:48 pm

George Clooney is ending his long association with Warner Bros. to join Sony Pictures in an exclusive two-year production deal.

CLOONEY The deal, which is wrapping up, comes when studios are trying to spend less. This month, Sony pulled the plug on "Moneyball," a movie about the business of baseball directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Brad Pitt.

"While we've been trimming production deals overall for the last few years, we see real value in opening our doors to producers with their critical and commercial track record and artistic point of view," said Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures has been based at Warner Bros. for three years and has six films in development at the studio. Clooney has been associated with Warner Bros. for almost 20 years, going back to his television days when he was cast by then-studio TV chief Leslie Moonves to star in "ER."

News of Clooney's deal was first reported by The New York Times.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: George Clooney in "Leatherheads." Credits: Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Pictures.