WWE News: Chris Benoit's biopic is in the making and WWE is not happy with it
The first seeds of Chris Benoit's biopic were sown in 2010 when indie filmmaker and screenwriter Richard O' Sullivan wrote a spec script about Chris Benoit's tragedy called Crossface. He partnered with Alex A. Ginzburg for the feature film project.
However, soon after receiving constant negative feedback from William Morris Endeavor(WME) Sullivan stepped aside as the writer/director on the condition that he would continue only as a producer of the project.
After a long lull in the process, Variety.com reported in September 2016 that project is moving forward with the help of Radar Pictures and the Oscar-winning director Lexi Alexander. The biopic which mainly focusses on Chris Benoit's 2007 murder-suicide will now be produced by Ginzburg, Tony Lee and the executive producers in charge are Ram Getz and Matthew Randazzo V.
The script, which will be written by Jack Goldberger and Sarah Coulter is based on the book Ring Of Hell: The Story Of Chris Benoit & Fall Of The Pro Wrestling Industry authored by Randazzo. Originally it was going to be based on Irv Muchnick's book but the negotiations didn't yield and now the script/plot of the biopic is based on Randazzo's published work.
The 2007 Benoit family tragedy was one of the most pivotal moments in the history of WWE. It saw Benoit murder his wife, Nancy and his young son, Daniel before committing suicide. It made WWE revamp its wellness policy and introduce ImPACT testing which would test pro-wrestlers for substance abuse, mental well-being etc.
It is an open secret that Chris Benoit had suffered extensive brain damage because of untreated in-ring concussions and this could have led him to commit such a brutal crime. WWE has always been reluctant to publicly acknowledge this fact and has steadily distanced itself from the tragedy by minimizing their role.
WME also suggests that the movie has scenes which will again open up the speculations involving Kevin Sullivan. It is one of the most widely believed conspiracy theory about Benoit's death that Sullivan, former wrestler and booker murdered him and his family(or hired hit-men to do it).
Although no evidence or any forensic report suggests the same but the theory has no doubt a logical backing because Sullivan was Nancy's ex-husband and could have been seeking revenge for her affair with Benoit.
The film's original writer Richard O' Sullivan said that he left the project because he refused to write the Kevin Sullivan speculation as a part of the film. WME has acknowledged that the movie depicts late wrestler Johnny Grunge, who could play the role of Benoit's best friend.
He would be the one who would have found the body of Eddie Gurrero in the hotel room after a WWE event at Madison Square Garden. But in reality it was Chavo Gurrero who found his uncle’s body before a TV taping in Minnesota.
Although no official news regarding the lead role has come forth but in the past Kellen Lutz and Liam McIntyre were discussed for playing Benoit's role. Michael Hall was once suggested to play the lead role but his rep said he didn't want to play a killer and be a typecast.
There were also rumours regarding Liev Schreiber playing the role but those were shot down.
Not surprisingly, WWE is not happy about the planned biopic as the movie is likely to show drug use, possible steroid use and CTE(Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) as possible reasons for why Benoit snapped. These will not only bring back focus to WWE's weak and an almost non-existent wellness policy which it had at that time but also the organization’s downplaying of its role to stay away from any controversies.
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