Back in late 2011 we mentioned that a Chris Benoit biopic was in the works called Crossface. Benoit, as you may recall, was the professional wrestler for WCW and WWE who murdered his wife and son and took his own life in 2007. An autopsy revealed evidence of severe brain trauma from CTE caused by years of damage that the wrestling industry had done to his body.
The project has finally found a director in Academy Award nominee Lexi Alexander, best known for Green Street Hooligans, Punisher: War Journal, and her work on TV (Supergirl, Arrow, American Gothic).
In a press release last week, Alexander said, “I was pretty certain I’d stay in TV rather than returning to the feature world, because the material just seems so much better in TV, especially in drama, but then Crossface came my way. A heartbreaking, true story about the dark side of wrestling… I couldn’t say no to that.”
The Crossface screenplay was co-written by Jake Goldberger and Sarah Coulter, adapted from Matthew Randazzo V’s non-fiction book Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. The biopic’s title was inspired by the name of Benoit’s in-ring finishing move.
It remains unlikely that the WWE will participate in the making of Crossface given the nature of Benoit’s murder-suicide and what his injuries and mental state say about the business of professional wrestling. If there are any in-ring scenes or match recreations, they’ll have to be carefully shot given how protective the WWE is with their intellectual property.
What do you think about a Chris Benoit biopic? Can it be done tastefully? Is Lexi Alexander a good fit? (In addition to directing film and TV, she has a martial arts background that will prove helpful for the potential physicality of material.) Share your thoughts in the comments.