George Clooney may star as maverick car mogul John DeLorean in a new drama which he is set to direct.

Film studio MGM has signed a deal with Clooney and production partner Grant Heslov from Smokehouse Pictures which will see Clooney direct the drama about the life of the ill-fated car engineer and designer.

DeLorean is remembered for the stainless steel DeLorean sports car, featuring gull-wing doors, which attracted much publicity in the late 1970s, when the car was assembled at a factory in Dunmurry, near Belfast. The car would later feature in the film trilogy, Back to the Future. At that point, howeverJohn DeLorean's grand project had already ended in receivership and bankruptcy in 1982.

According to Screen Daily, Keith Bunin will adapt the DeLorean screenplay from the Epic magazine article Saint John, which was written by journalist Alex Pappademas.

Clooney and Heslov's company, Smokehouse, is the power behind the forthcoming six-part Hulu TV series Catch-22, which is based on Joseph Heller's novel of the same name. Catch-22, which debuts on May 17, was directed by Clooney, Heslov and Ellen Kuras.

Meanwhile, another film on the once highly-controversial car tycoon, Framing John DeLorean stars Alec Baldwin as the charismatic entrepreneur who ultimately faced charges of cocaine trafficking. He was acquitted on grounds of entrapment.

 Framing John DeLorean opens on June 7 in the US.