In 2007, WWE superstar Chris Benoit killed his wife and son and then took his own life. The double-muder-suicide highlighted the dark side of pro wrestling, in which drug use, steroid abuse, injury, emotional problems, and physical exertion take their toll on a wrestler’s psyche. Part of this was explored in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler; yet the tragedy of Randy the Ram — though potent and true for many wrestlers after their heyday — wasn’t at the same level as the tragedy of the Benoit family.
SRG Films is developing a biopic about Chris Benoit called Crossface. (Benoit’s signature submission move was called the Crippler Crossface.) It’s sure to be a tricky situation. If done right, it could be a powerful, heartbreaking portrait of a man’s hard fall from grace. If not, it could be tasteless and exploitative. First-time screenwriter Sarah Coulter is at work on the script based on Matthew Randazzo V’s Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry.
I wonder about WWE’s take on this. As one of the commenters at /Film pointed out, WWE is careful about logos, likenesses, and intellectual property. Given how critical the project will be of the business, it’s unlikely that Vince McMahon would allow any depictions of Benoit’s matches on screen, let alone any mention of WCW, WWF, or WWE. I also wonder if the late Eddie Guerrero will be depicted in the movie. A fellow wrestler and good friend of Benoit, Guerrero died of heart failure in 2005, possibly due to steroid use.[Via /Film]