Does Brad Bird's mysterious new science fiction movie star George Clooney as Nikola Tesla? Maybe.

The mysterious new science fiction project being directed by Brad Bird keeps getting more interesting. First of all, we learn from the Hollywood Reporter that the movie's codename had changed from 1952 to Tesla — which is just a codename, not the official title. But it's still interesting.

And second of all, we find out that George Clooney is in talks to star in the film, as the "man searching for extra-terrestrials on Earth."

As Bleeding Cool points out, the real-life Nikola Tesla claimed to have received signals from Mars after he built something called a Magnifying Transmitter at Colorado Springs. And Tim Swartz's book The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla has established him as a UFO-hunting guru in the imaginations of many UFO buffs. And Clooney does look passably like Tesla (see above images, via Bleeding Cool.)

Of course, it's entirely possible the film isn't about Tesla at all, and they're just picking that as a misleading codename — the film is written by Damon Lindelof, who knows a bit about misdirection, along with Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen. [Hollywood Reporter via Bleeding Cool]