Clooney is set to direct and star in a period drama called 'The Monuments Men'

George Clooney has assembled a formidable cast for his next film as director.

Clooney is set to star alongside Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville in a period drama called The Monuments Men.

The film is based on a book called The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M Edsel. Clooney has also written the script with his regular collaborator Grant Heslov.

Set in Germany during 1944 and 1945, the story follows a crew of art historians and museum curators on the hunt for precious works taken by the Nazis as Hitler’s empire is falling apart. Deadline reports that filming will begin in Europe in March 2013.

The Monuments Men will be Clooney’s fifth film as director. He made his directorial debut with Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind in 2002 and then received an Oscar nomination for his second helming effort, 2005’s Good Night And Good Luck. More recently, he called the shots on 2008’s Leatherheads and 2011’s The Ides Of March.

Meanwhile, Clooney will be next be seen on screen in Gravity, a drama about astronauts struggling to survive on a damaged space station. The film co-stars Sandra Bullock and is due for release at some point in 2013.