After killing his family and kickoff yet another nationwide debate on steroids, this time focusing on pro wrestling, Chris Benoit went from being a favorite of many wrestling fans to someone wiped out from wrestling history seemingly overnight. After strangling both his son and his wife, Nancy Benoit, Chris hung himself and it touched off a new wave of books and thoughts on the man. And now SRG films is looking to adapt “Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry” by Matthew Randazzo V. From the press release:
“Crossface”, a biographical thriller, delves into the pressures WWE superstar Chris Benoit faced throughout his wrestling career as the combination of drug-use, depression, and head trauma became increasingly impossible for him to handle. The true story made headline news in 2007 when Chris murdered his wife and young son before taking his own life.
SRG Films head Dale Alexander Carnegie is producing the film, while William Morris Endeavor (WME) is on board to package the project. Former Weinstein Company staffer, Sarah Coulter, turned in the first draft of the script in mid-October.
“All of us grow up believing that wrestling is fake, but looking at the shocking number of deaths in the industry, it quickly becomes evident that there is nothing fake about the dangers of this sport,” Carnegie said. “Chris Benoit has become a poster child for everything that’s wrong with professional wrestling and Sarah’s terrific script captures his struggles and the many factors that led to the deaths of three people.”
Coulter added: “People immediately point to steroids, never thinking about the brain trauma these wrestlers can, and do, incur in their profession, nor do they consider the rigorous schedule that keeps them working even when they shouldn t be. The Benoit story is one that needs to be brought into the light.
SRG Films, currently in talks with directors and actors, plans to begin filming in the fall of 2012.
What does this mean? A biopic about a man who murdered his family is never going to be one you can handle with kid gloves. And one imagines that the WWE and Vince McMahon are going to do everything in their power to make sure their name and the names of anyone in their company is anywhere attached onto this project except in a “inspired by” motif. One imagines that this’ll probably be closer in spirit to a film like Alpha Dog, which got all the details right but changed the names of everyone involved to avoid lawsuits, et al. It could also be crafted into a film like Hollywoodland, which explored the unexplained death of the original Superman.
what do you think? Is this a good idea? Or is Benoit’s murder/suicide something that isn’t cinema worthy? Let us know below.