George Clooney will reportedly direct a film based on the UK phone-hacking scandal that came to light in 2011.
The film will be based on the book “Hack Attack” by Guardian reporter Nick Davies, which tells the story of how he discovered the hacking done by various employees of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The newspaper News of the World closed in 2011 following the revelations. Various celebrities, including “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and actors Jude Law, Sienna Miller, and Hugh Grant, all testified as part of the Leveson Inquiry that looked into the standards and practices of newspapers.
According to Variety, the movie, directed by Clooney, will be for Sony Pictures.
“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said in a statement. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”
Michael De Luca, who is president of production for Columbia Pictures (part of Sony), said in a statement, “As the son of a journalist, George has a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives – whether that’s for good, as in Good Night, and Good Luck, or for bad. With Hack Attack, George will explore the dark side of that world, a business where all of the rules of journalism are broken in the race for an easy and ever-larger payday.”
As noted by De Luca, Clooney directed the 2005 film “Good Night, and Good Luck” about journalist Edward R. Murrow, also starring in the film as former CBS president Fred W. Friendly. Clooney’s other directorial credits include 2008’s “Leatherheads,” the 2011 movie “The Ides of March,” and “The Monuments Men,” which was released this past February.
Clooney is no stranger to the UK press. Earlier this year, the actor wrote an op-ed for USA Today after the British Daily Mail tabloid wrote a story about Clooney's fiancée's mother, saying that she was against the planned marriage due to religious differences. Clooney accused the paper of fabricating their story. The Daily Mail apologized to Clooney and removed the story from their website.