DC TV/Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander is set to direct a Chris Benoit biopic. What sounds like a 4Chan joke has the makings of being something stellar. Benoit’s story shocked the wrestling world, and perhaps Lexi Alexander can make some sense of it when the acclaimed Oscar-nominated director adapts the tragic story into a feature film.
Chris Benoit was one of the most famous and respected pro wrestlers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He’d wrestled around the world, in WCW and WWE, winning championships and even featured in the main event of WrestleMania XX. But in June 2007 that all changed. Over the course of a weekend, Benoit brutally murdered his wife and young son, then killed himself. The wrestling world has been in shock ever since.
Following his death, tests revealed that the wrestler may have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Some argue that this, combined with years of drug and steroid abuse, may have impacted Benoit’s brutal and horrific actions. However, WWE has spent a great deal legally fighting these claims. Benoit’s wife, Nancy, had also spent years documenting his erratic outbursts, domestic violence, and attempts to divorce her husband.
The biopic will be titled Crossface, referencing Benoit’s signature move, The Crippler Crossface, with screenwriter Sarah Coulter developing the script since 2011. Coulter’s compelling script was enough to lure Alexander back to the world of feature films after spending years in TV.
So happy to have you on board for Crossface, @Lexialex! 🙂
— Sarah Todd (@sbethtodd) September 8, 2016
Having masterfully directed many CW’s DC Universe TV shows, what will she do for wrestling fans? It’s still early days yet, but we can hope that Alexander’s work begins mainstream exploration of these dark, sad figures.
Coulter based her script on the controversial 2008 book Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit & the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. While some naysayers might poo-poo the book as being about nothing but wrestling, they’d be wrong. Matthew Randazzo V’s book stands as arguably the greatest piece of investigative sports journalism of the last 15 years. One can hope that Alexander’s direction finds the heart of the material and takes Benoit from being an internet wrestling fan joke and into the realm of acknowledged tragedy.