Having already directed a film about the crusading, high-minded aspects of the journalistic profession with Good Night And Good Luck, George Clooney plans to look at the seedier side of the job with Hack Attack, a film about the phone-hacking scandal that enveloped British tabloid News Of The World—along with owner Rupert Murdoch—for years before the 168-year-old publication was forced to close in 2011. As previously reported, the movie will be based on a bestseller of the same name by The Guardian reporter Nick Davies, whose employer reported on some of the more damning aspects of the scandal when it was still ongoing. And to adapt the book, Clooney and Sony Pictures are now eyeing Anthony McCarten, the writer behind the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything.
The scandal was a complicated, years-long affair, so whoever ends up adapting the book will need to be able to sort through a mess of facts and perspectives. News Of The World and some of its sister publications were accused of rooting around in the private files of everyone from celebrities and the royal family to relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and the parents of murder victims. While that’s all very serious, there’s even room for comedy, as the allegations eventually led to a comedian trying to smash a “foam pie” into Murdoch’s face during a Parliamentary hearing. McCarten is currently getting good marks for his work on The Theory Of Everything, so he may be the man for the job.