George Clooney to direct film about British phone hacking scandal

By Efrosini Costa

George Clooney to direct film about British phone hacking scandal
Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney will direct a film about the scandal that brought down some of Britain's biggest media figures and politicians.

Sony Pictures Entertainment confirmed the news this week adding that production is scheduled to start next year.

Hack Attack will be Clooney’s sixth foray in the director’s seat and the film is based on the best-selling book of the same name by journalist Nick Davies.

The story described in detail how British tabloid newspapers routinely hacked the personal telephone voice mails of celebrities, members of the British royal family and victims of crime, to gain access to private information.

The scandal resulted in a media inquiry and the subsequent arrests of British editors and even reached the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office – when his media chief Andy Coulson was forced to resign in 2011 over allegations he partook in phone hacking when he was editor of News of the World.

Humiliated Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was forced to close the News of the World newspaper the same year and abandon a $12 billion bid for British pay TV broadcaster BSkyB following the public and political furore over the accusations.

“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London. And the fact that it’s true is the best part,” Clooney said in a statement.

“Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”

Clooney will also produce the film in partnership with Grant Heslov through their studio ‘Smokehouse’ – the company behind the 2012 Oscar winning film Argo and this year’s WWII art heist film The Monuments Men.

The 53-year-old actor has already earned a best director Oscar nomination in 2006 for Good Night and Good Luck, a film about broadcast news legend Edward R. Murrow. His father, Nick Clooney was also a former TV journalist. Clooney won an Oscar for best supporting actor the same year.

Michael De Luca, the president of production for the Sony Pictures studio said that as the son of a journalist, Clooney had “a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives.”

Other films directed by the actor-filmmaker include Confessions of a Dangerous Mind , Leatherheads and The Ides of March.


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