LOS ANGELES (AFP) - George Clooney is to direct a film about the British phone hacking scandal, the studio behind the project announced Wednesday.
"Hack Attack" will be based on the book of the same name by Guardian journalist Nick Davies about the hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch's news empire, which triggered the demise of its weekly News of the World.
"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 released by Sony Pictures. "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."
Michael De Luca of Columbia Pictures added: "As the son of a journalist, George has a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives.
"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," he added.
Shooting on the new movie will begin next year, Sony said.
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.