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Clooney to direct a movie on UK phone hacking scandal

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MUMBAI: Three years after Rupert Murdoch shut the News of the World, George Clooney is set to direct Hack Attack, an adaptation of the book by the same name by Guardian journalist Nick Davies, according to media reports. The book is an account of Davies’ investigation into the hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch's news empire, which triggered the demise of its weekly News of the World.

As per the reports, the 53-year old will also serve as co-producer for the movie, alongside Grant Heslov with whom he has worked on several previous films through their Smokehouse Pictures production company.

Making a statement about his latest directorial venture, Clooney said, “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 honour to put his book to film.”

The phone-hacking trial was one of the most expensive in English legal history, spotlighting the close ties between the Murdoch empire and politicians and the no-holds-barred methods of Britain's tabloid press.

Those affected included the then Kate Middleton, who is now married to Prince William, James Bond star Daniel Craig and actor Jude Law. Murdoch shut the News of the World in 2011 after it emerged that what was then Britain's biggest selling paper had illegally accessed the voicemails of a murdered schoolgirl.

Two-time Academy Award winner Clooney is most well known for roles ranging from Ocean's Eleven and its sequels to last year's Oscar-winning Gravity. But in the last decade the heartthrob actor has moved behind the camera to direct a number of movies including Good Night, and Good Luck, The Ides of March and The Monuments Men.

Shooting on the new movie will begin next year but no release date has been set.

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