George Clooney has signed on to direct a new film that highlights the Rupert Murdoch media scandal, which involved the habitual voicemail hacking of politicians and other high-profile figures by one of the worlds largest media organizations–News Corp.
The movie is an adaptation of a 400-page novel, called Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch, by journalist Nick Davies, who investigated the ethics and behaviors of the Murdoch enterprise for six years.
Davies’ research suggested multiple government and police payoffs, unethical journalism practices, and evidence of intercepted voicemails conspired by British journalists.
More than a dozen journalists reportedly hired a convicted phone hacker.
Clooney, who is the son of a journalist, has a passion to collaborate on creative projects where journalism and politics intertwine to recreate historical events.
“This has all the elements–lying, corruption, blackmail –at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspapers in London,” he stated. “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.”
The hacking accusations began in 2005 after News of the World, owned by News Corp., published a story about Prince William’s knee injury. Soon after, British royalty complained to officials that their voicemails were being hacked.
The timeline of alleged privacy invasions carried on for several years, as British press persisted in saying there was no evidence of foul play.
In January 2011, London Metropolitan Police launched an investigation and examined the allegations against News of the World.
Approximately three months later, the news company apologized for hacking voicemails from previous years and then tried to compensate those who were affected.
The massive scandal eventually led to the shutdown of News of the World, which had a 168-year media presence. Their final headline read “Thank you & Goodbye.”
In June, The FBI accessed more than 80,000 emails from News Corp. that could only make matter worse for Mr. Murdoch, as the case is ongoing.
Murdoch is still voicing his opinions on current matters, despite his tarnished reputation following the international scandal. The 83-year-old said that he cannot be held responsible, and that he was let down by the people he trusted.
Principal photography for The Hack Attack-inspired film begins in 2015.