Clooney set for Dubai; 'Clayton' opening fest


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- George Clooney has been confirmed as the mystery guest tabbed to lend some celebrity dazzle to the fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival.

Clooney's "Michael Clayton," helmed by Tony Gilroy, will open the fest, which takes place Dec. 9-16, and its lead actor will be on hand for the opening night gala. Sharon Stone, who will be hosting a charity dinner in Dubai for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, was confirmed previously and other high-profile guests are expected to be named soon.

"This conspiracy thriller will be an exciting and memorable way to start off DIFF 2007," DIFF artistic director of international programming Simon Field said. "Mr. Clooney's return to the region means we have come full circle, from Dubai as a backdrop for the film 'Syriana' to DIFF as a platform to showcase his latest venture."

"We look forward to once again hosting Mr. Clooney in the Emirates," DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma said. " 'Michael Clayton' will undoubtedly be very warmly received by festivalgoers for our opening gala."

Gilroy's feature film debut is a political drama focusing on corporate lawyer Michael Clayton and his life as a 'fixer' of unethical legal cases. Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson co-star.

The fourth edition of DIFF runs Dec. 9-16.