George Clooney is on board to direct a big screen adaptation about the tabloid phone-hacking scandal that engulfed Britain in controversy.
The Sony Pictures film will be adapted from the 2014 book Hack Attack by journalist Nick Davies. The book explores how staff at the British tabloid the News of the World — owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch — hacked into voice mails of politicians, celebrities, members of the royal family and crime victims looking for scoops. Davies was one of the journalists responsible for exposing the phone-hacking, which resulted in the shuttering of News of the World, the arrests of several top editors and an extensive government inquiry into Britain’s journalism practices. The film adaptation could potentially have a large pool of talent to tap into as Sienna Miller, Steve Coogan and Hugh Grant were just a few of the high-profile figures who gave testimony at the inquiry about their own experiences with the tabloids.
“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said of the project in a statement released Wednesday. “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.”
Clooney also has a personal connection to the film’s subject matter. The actor, who received an Oscar nod for filmmaking in 2005 for Good Night, and Good Luck, about radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrow, is also the son of an American broadcast journalist, Nick Clooney. What’s more, earlier this year he blasted British paper The Daily Mail for a false story about his fiancée Amal Alamuddin and accused it of fabricating stories.
We’re not expecting the British press to appear in the best light in the upcoming film.