George Clooney has bought the rights to The Innocent Man, the first non-fiction book by best-selling novelist John Grisham.

The Oscar-winning actor's production company Smoke House will produce the film but it is not known whether Clooney will direct or star in it.

Smoke House is also owned by Clooney's long-term friend Grant Heslov and the pair's last project together was Good Night, and Good Luck, which won six Oscars.

Subtitled Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, Grisham's book tells the true story of Ron Williamson, a former basketball player who spent 11 years on death row in Oklahoma after being wrongly convicted of rape and murder.

It has been reported that Grisham is set to receive a seven-figure sum for the rights.

It is not the first time that his work has been transferred from the pages of a book to the big screen; films based on his novels include The Firm, starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, and The Pelican Brief, starring Julia Roberts.

07/12/2006 15:14:37