Media ethics, power, corruption, and freedom of the press composed the Nick Davies book Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch. And who gets the job of adapting it into a feature film? Ides of March director George Clooney. Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter announced the actor-turned producer-turned-director will helm the first narrative film to chronicle the fall of Rupert Murdoch’s news empire.
As reported and analyzed in Davies’s book, Murdoch’s tabloid publication News of the World shut down after 168 years when it was discovered that employers were hacking the phones of politicians, celebrities, and even private British citizens to get stories. A formal government inquiry followed a situation where an employee erased a voice mail regarding the abduction of a 13 year-old girl. A total of 12 employees were arrested following hacking accusations.
“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London” Clooney said as he expressed his enthusiasm for the project. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part.”
Clooney has dealt with the role of the media previously. He earned himself an Academy Award nomination for Best Director in 2006 for Good Night, and Good Luck – which dealt with Edward R. Murrow’s investigation and coverage of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s congressional hearings.
Michael De Luca, president of production at Columbia is overseeing production, via Sony. Shooting is set to commence next year.