SRG Films has set Vicente Amorim to direct the highly controversial Chris Benoit biopic Crossface, reports Deadline.
Amorim’s last English language movie was the 2008 Viggo Mortensen starrer Good, about the rise of the Nazi party in Germany as Hitler began to mind-warp good Germans into believing his disturbed ideals. A difficult movie he handled well with a great actor anchoring the project and it’s that kind of astute casting he’ll need here.
Crossface is a re-telling of the tragic double-murder suicide that rocked the wrestling world in the summer of 2007 when the decorated professional wrestler Benoit murdered his wife and young son before taking his own life during one tragic weekend. Benoit, who up until that point was thought of as one of the quietest and respectful men in the wrestling industry, has now effectively been written out of history by the WWE who never refer to his achievements or replay any footage involving him.
Incidentally, the WWE will have nothing to do with this movie, though owner Vince McMahon, his son-in-law and current WWE superstar Triple H and former stars Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle do reportedly appear as characters.
The film will be based on Matthew Randazzo’s book “Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry” that put forward the case that years of pressure and severe depression caused by head trauma and steroid/drug-use that damaged his brain and turned him psychotic.
Amorim said about the project;
“Wrestling is showbiz taken to the extreme and ‘Crossface’ is Limelight on steroids,”
“Chris Benoit’s story is the perfect vehicle for a fiercely honest film that is as much about him and the world of wrestling as it is about America and show business. I am very happy to be on board to help tell this story.”
SRG Films chief Dale Alexander Carnegie called Amorim’s work “not only thrilling, but also touching, two things we hope to bring to our film.”
Former Weinstein Company staffer Sarah Coulter has wrote the script and filming is expected to begin next year. No casting has yet taken place but earlier this month rumours were that Liev Schreiber was to take on the challenge of playing Benoit, a rumour that was then quickly shot down by his representatives. For us, the casting seemed about as good as you get.
Coulter described her approach to the project a while back;
“Chris had a remarkable career. You take a look at his time in Japan and with Stu Hart, and you realize that you’d need more than one movie to tell the entire Chris Benoit story. Ultimately, it’s about the 2007 murders/suicide, so we had to pick and choose the right moments in Chris’ career that may have been factors in his downfall.“
Amorim is currently working on Rio, I Love You… the latest in a multi-director project to tell several short stories about the world’s most famous cities following Paris, I Love You and New York, I Love You.
This article was first posted on July 23, 2013