George Clooney is in talks to play John DeLorean, a General Motors executive who left the company in 1973 to start his own car company in Northern Ireland.

DeLorean developed the Pontiac GTO and Firebird while at GM. He also created the famous DeLorean DMC-12 gull-wing cars in Northern Ireland, immortalized in the ‘Back to the Future’ Films.

There have been three different versions of a biopic about the legendary automotive entrepreneur in the works over the last few years. The front-runner, produced by David Permut, is set to have the Oscar-winning Clooney in the lead role.

The film would chronicle DeLorean’s work at GM to his creation of the DMC-12, and presumably show his arrest in 1982 for drug trafficking. (He was later found not guilty because the charges were the result of entrapment by federal agents.)

Stephen Wynne, the head of DeLorean Motor Company, says Clooney is also his first choice for the role.

In 1981, DeLorean, got £100 million from the UK Government to set up production in Northern Ireland, but after just 21 months, the plant shut having made fewer than 9,000 cars.

DeLorean died in 2005 at age 80.