If there are two subjects George Clooney loves to make films about, they're journalism and politics. He's handled both subjects on their own respectively in Good Night, And Good Luck. and The Ides Of March, but his next project sounds like an interesting blend between both of those projects. If you take the subject matter of the first film and cross it with the thrilling/darker aspects of the second film, then you'll have what looks to be Clooney's next directorial effort, Hack Attack.
Entertainment Weekly broke the story on the follow up to Clooney's tepidly received The Monuments Men. While some criticized the World War II drama as too much of a feel good throwback, Hack Attack is the complete opposite, as George Clooney is promising all of the elements you'd expect in a modern thriller in his next film, including:
"...lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London."
Hack Attack tells the story of the now defunct tabloid News Of The World, a Rupert Murdoch owned outfit that collapsed under the weight of a particularly damaging scandal involving its editors hacking the cell phones of 9/11 victims. This is a story that is dead center in Clooney's wheelhouse as a writer/director/actor triple threat, considering he knocked it out of the park with both Good Night, And Good Luck. as well as The Ides Of March. Both are criminally underseen films that deal with serious subject matters in entertaining but serious manners.
The Ides Of March sticks out in particular, as that's the last film George Clooney has tackled that took modern journalism head on, and president of Columbia Pictures Michael DeLuca is pretty excited about the prospects of this project as well. He was on hand to talk up Clooney's personal pedigree, saying:
"As the son of a journalist, George has a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives – whether that’s for good, as in Good Night, and Good Luck, or for bad. 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."
The News Of The World scandal was a disaster that really got the public thinking about just what the press will do in order to outscoop the competition and sell papers and airtime. It's not a new subject, but with a tragedy like 9/11 hanging over this particular scandal, this film could sit comfortably on the shelf next to Zero Dark Thirty. In other words, George Clooney might have another Oscar nomination on his hands with Hack Attack. For now though, Clooney's next project is the Jodie Foster directed Money Monster, which hopefully won't interfere with Hack Attack's plans to start production in the similar yet vague window known as "early next year."