CLOONEY AS SPY

03/29/1999 at 12:00 AM EST

It's batter-up James Bond-style for George Clooney. Variety reports that the former "ER" star is in final talks to star in and produce "The Catcher Was a Spy," a period baseball spy thriller about the true-life exploits of Morris "Moe" Berg, based on the 1994 book by Nicholas Dawidoff. Berg, a polyglot and Wall Street attorney, played with such teams as the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Washington Senators during a career that spanned the '20s and '30s. While with the latter team, he was recruited as a spy by the Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA). In addition to taking undercover photos in Japan while on a tour of Asia with Babe Ruth in the 1930s, Berg later was assigned to assassinate Werner Heisenberg, who was developing the nuclear bomb for Germany, Dawidoff's book alleges.

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