BERLIN, March 5 (UPI) -- Hollywood actor-director George Clooney has started shooting "The Monuments Men" in Germany, Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox said Tuesday.
The action-thriller is written by Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov. It is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter.
Clooney and Heslov are also producing the film through their Smokehouse Productions. The production is their first since winning the Academy Award for Best Picture last month for their work on "Argo."
Starring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman, "The Monuments Men" is based on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by Franklin Delano Roosevelt with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners, a synopsis said.
Filming is to take place in Germany and the United Kingdom through the end of June. The movie is scheduled for North American release Dec. 18, 2013.