George Clooney to direct film on British phone hacking scandal

George Clooney attends the U.K. premiere of "The Monuments Men" at Odeon Leicester Square on Feb. 11, 2014, in London. Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

George Clooney has dialed in for his next directorial effort.

The actor will step behind the camera once again 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.

Clooney will also produce the project with Grant Heslov, through their Smokehouse banner for Sony Pictures Entertainment, it was announced Wednesday.

"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."

Davies spent six years investigating News Corporation and its subsidiary, News International. His book exposed how the company hacked into the voice mail messages of elected officials, celebrities, and even ordinary British citizens and the victims of terror attacks. The scandal led to the shuttering of News of the World in 2011, a government inquiry and a number of arrests and convictions.

Michael De Luca, president of production for Columbia Pictures, will oversee the project for Sony Pictures.

"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."

The film is due to begin shooting next year.

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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