"South Park" witticism aside, I've always thought that the "George Clooney is soooo smug!" thing is a little overstated and probably has less to do with his "attitude" and more to do with his actual accomplishments - he really is that good an actor, he really is also a damn good director, he really does have that good an eye for screenplays and he really is aging more gracefully than you probably will. Damn him.
In any case, he's setting up his next writer/director/star project; and it's one I've been waiting for: an adaptation of Robert M. Edsel's "The Monuments Men."
The so-called "Monuments Men" remain one of the great unsung stories of World War II heroism, and it's easy to see how their story appeals to Clooney's well-established aesthetic, topical and even socio-political sensibilities - it's period drama with a (potential) dash of action/adventure about the importance of preserving art and culture, whose heroes were primarily educators and intellectuals as opposed to "regular joe" men-of-action.
Officially formed in 1943 on the orders of General Eisenhower himself, the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Program of the Allied armies were set up on the premise that restoring (and preventing further destruction of) Europe's artistic and cultural heritage during the war was a vital component of the Allied efforts. Select groups of art historians, professors and other experts were dispatched to areas of conflict (often behind enemy lines and ahead of ground-troops) with orders to help hunt down and properly catalogue/return art-treasures stolen by the Nazis AND to ensure that priceless statues and architectural works were not seriously damaged in bombing raids. It's hard to imagine such an effort being mounted today - the outcry from both the culture-hating Tea Party ("wasteful spending!! only ELITES care about art!!!") and likely also a good deal of the Left ("Save people, not paintings!!!") would be defening.
Clooney's film will apparently focus on the hunt for stolen/looted artworks in Nazi strongholds following D-Day, but I'd hope they squeeze in some of the combat-period scenarios: One of the MFAA's most dramatic successes was the re-taking of Florence - where precision-mapmaking by Monuments Men experts allowed Allied planes to bomb the Nazi occupation-forces into submission while avoiding damage to a remarkable number of priceless buildings, statues, frescos, etc. This was actually a subtle plot-point in "Inglorious Basterds" - we learn, during the Nazi propaganda movie about his actions, that Frederick Zoeller (the seemingly-sympathetic German sniper) was able to maintain his position because the American general had been ordered not to destroy the famous tower which he (Zoeller) was using as a sniper's-nest.