Clooney tackling British phone hacking scandal…

It has been announced that George Clooney is set to direct an adaptation of the book ‘Hack Attack,’ journalist Nick Davies’ account of the British phone hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s news empire.

‘Hack Attack’ depicts a world where, as Davies writes, “Everything is for sale. Nobody is exempt.” Over six years, Davies investigated News Corporation and its subsidiary, News International; his book shows how their habit of hacking into the voice mail messages of elected officials, celebrities, and even ordinary British citizens and the victims of terror attacks was wide-ranging and ongoing. The resulting scandal would not only mark the end of News of the World after 168 years of continuous publication, but spur a government inquiry that would bring to light some of the most unthinkable of business practices.

“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,” said Michael De Luca, president of Production for Columbia Pictures. “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.”

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

De Luca will oversee the project for Sony Pictures, with Clooney and Grant Heslov producing through their Smokehouse banner. Shooting is scheduled to start next year.