Francis Lawrence to Direct Film about the Gawker/Hulk Hogan Trial

     June 11, 2018

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The filmmaker behind the final three Hunger Games movies and the comic book adaptation Constantine is turning his attention to the legal drama realm. It was announced today that Francis Lawrence will direct an adaptation of the Ryan Holiday book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue. Lawrence will also produce alongside Blackrock Productions’ David A. Neuman. Oscar-winning The Big Short co-writer Charles Randolph is penning the screenplay, and the film recounts the legal battle between pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media. The suit resulted in a $140 million judgment against Gawker, which subsequently led to their bankruptcy, but it was later revealed that Silicon Valley titan Peter Thiel had been financially contributing Hogan’s case, reportedly driven by his personal anger towards Gawker.

The trial set a huge precedent involving privacy and the media, and it’s certainly great material for a dramatic film. Although it’ll be interesting to see what kind of actor could potentially play someone as iconic as Hulk Hogan.

Blackrock Productions is producing the film, and Lawrence had this to say about the project in a statement:

“When I read Ryan’s extraordinary book I was totally taken with this story, such an exquisitely contemporary tale, and I immediately had a vision for it as a film.  It’s an important and meaningful story, and one I’m excited to tell.  I’m thrilled to come aboard and to work with this team. ”

Lawrence is a versatile filmmaker whose resume ranges from I Am Legend to Water for Elephants, and it’ll be interesting to see him stretch his dramatic chops. He most recently helmed the Jennifer Lawrence-fronted thriller Red Sparrow, for which he hoped to make sequels. Due to disappointing box office, however, that now seems unlikely. He’s also developing a new feature film adaptation of Battlestar Galactica, but it’s possible this Gawker movie could be his next project.

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Image via Lionsgate

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