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Clooney to direct film on phone-hacking scandal

George Clooney attends the British premiere of the film "The Monuments Men" in London.
Dave M. Benett | WireImage | Getty Images
George Clooney attends the British premiere of the film "The Monuments Men" in London.

And Rupert Murdoch thought his newspaper phone hacking scandal had faded from the headlines.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, a media conglomerate that competes with Mr. Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, said on Wednesday that it would make a movie from the book "Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch," written by the British journalist Nick Davies.

George Clooney will direct the film.

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"Hack Attack" gives a behind-the-scenes account of Mr. Davies's reporting for The Guardian that exposed the extent of phone hacking at The News of the World, a newspaper that was part of Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation until it was closed in 2011.

Source: Twentieth Century Fox

Sony said Mr. Clooney would begin shooting the film next year. "This has all the elements—lying, corruption, blackmail—at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London," Mr. Clooney said in a statement. "And the fact that it's true is the best part."

Mr. Clooney was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 for directing "Good Night, and Good Luck," which looked at the CBS anchor Edward R. Murrow and McCarthyism.

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Michael De Luca, a senior Sony Entertainment executive, noted in a statement that Mr. Clooney was the son of a journalist, and he said that the Murdoch film "will explore the dark side of that world, a business where all the rules of journalism are broken in the race for an easy and ever-larger payday."

—By Brooks Barnes, The New York Times

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