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WWE News: Hulk Hogan/Gawker documentary 'Nobody Speak' acquired by Netflix

Netflix acquires the global distribution rights to 'Nobody Speak', a documentary following the controversial 2016 Hulk Hogan/Gawker trial.

Hulk Hogan testifies in court during 2016 Gawker case
The film chronicles the celebrity trial between Hulk Hogan and the now-defunct gossip blog Gawker.com

What’s the story?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has acquired the worldwide broadcasting rights to feature-length documentary Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker And Trials Of A Free Press. The film will chronicle the 2016 celebrity trial between WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan and the now-defunct gossip blog Gawker.com, which published clips from a secret sex tape featuring the ‘Hulkster’ back in 2012.

Nobody Speak will take a deeper look inside a trial that bankrupted an online media giant, exposed the controversy of a Silicon Valley billionaire, and pitted journalistic free speech against an individual’s right to privacy. 

In case you didn’t know...

In 2012, Gawker.com editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio posted a small segment of a leaked 2006 sex tape that contained intimate footage of Hulk Hogan having sexual relations with a woman named Heather Clem, who at the time was married to Hogan’s long-time friend and radio personality, Bubba the Love Sponge. According to Hogan, the sexual encounter took place with the full consent of Bubba – who he at the time described as living an “alternative lifestyle” –  but neither he nor Clem were aware they were being recorded.

After reaching a settlement with his former best friend, Hogan set his sights on Gawker itself, suing the media company and several of its associates to the tune of $100 million for defamation, emotional pain, and violation of his personal privacy. By the end of the trial, which received mainstream news coverage all around the world, Hogan was awarded $140 million for invasion of privacy, $55 million for “economic harm”, and $60 million for emotional distress.

It also came out at the end of the case that billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel was responsible for funding Hogan’s legal fees, and had dumped $10 million into lawsuits against Gawker as a part of a revenge plot to take down the organization, after the website outed him as gay back in 2007. 

The heart of the matter

Netflix officially acquired the rights to Nobody Speak at this week’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where the film is being screened for the first time, as a part of the festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition.

The film was written and directed, as well as executive produced by filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, perhaps best known for the critically acclaimed documentary The Internet’s Own Boy, which tells the story and tragic death of tech prodigy, internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz.

What’s Next?

Netflix hasn’t announced an official date for when the documentary will begin airing, or in which regions, but we expect a statement to be made following the conclusion of this week’s Sundance festivities. Given that they purchased the global rights to distribute the film, it should be available in any country where the streaming service is offered. 

Sportskeeda’s Take

As someone who followed the Hogan/Gawker case very closely for the majority of 2016, I am highly interested in this production. The film would make excellent viewing for the ardent WWE and Hulk Hogan fan.

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