As a lifelong, die-hard pro wrestling fan I'm both worried and intrigued by the prospect of a Chris Benoit biopic. The project has been in the works for years, and back in 2013 it seemed to be moving forward with Vicente Amorim at the helm. Not the level of talent I'd like to see on a movie like this. Fortunately, it never came to be and there has been a serious upgrade as one of my favorite directors, Lexi Alexander, has confirmed she will direct the film, tentatively titled Crossface.
Alexander is, to put it bluntly, one kick-ass woman. She's the director behind Punisher: War Zone, Green Street Hooligans, plus episodes of Arrow and Supergirl. She's also one of the most outspoken critics of Hollywood sexism, which as you might have guessed hasn't always made her a favorite around town. She made the news official in a series of tweets, including this one which made me confident the material is up to snuff.
Well, if you know me a little bit...then you can imagine I wouldn't have said yes to an irresponsible script https://t.co/9HvhXkByEG— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) September 7, 2016
Benoit was one of the greatest technical wrestlers ever to grace a wrestling ring. Affectionately known as the "Canadian Crippler" or "the Rabid Wolverine", Benoit wrestled in Japan, ECW, WCW, and WWE, winning World Championships practically everywhere. However, at the height of his popularity he became infamous for the 2007 murder of his wife, former wrestling valet Nancy "Woman" Benoit, and their 7-year-old son, Daniel. Benoit committed suicide soon after. When word broke about what Benoit had done, any mention of him in the WWE's history books vanished. It's been suggested that a combination of depression, steroids, and possible brain damage due to multiple concussions are were the cause of Benoit's actions, although the reality is unclear even to this day.
Matthew Randazzo's book "Ring of Hell" was adapted by Sarah Coulter, and at one point Liev Schreiber was rumored to be in line to play Benoit. That turned out to be false, however, and someone will eventually have to be found who can portray the former champ. So while I'm still concerned about how Benoit and the sport of professional wrestling will be portrayed, I know Alexander wouldn't sign on unless the script was on point. She's incredibly choosy and doesn't work on feature films that much anymore, so if she wants to be part of this then I'm excited to see what she does. I'm especially eager to see how she shoots the in-ring action, and if the story will include Benoit's best friend, the late Eddie Guerrero.