Is The Chris Benoit Biopic A Good Idea?
In 2007, tragedy struck the wrestling world. That July, Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son before ultimately killing himself. That event ultimately stemmed from behavior Chris developed from years of head trauma suffered during his career. SRG Films is now working on a project based on his life entitled Crossface. The film will be based on the book Ring Of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. The script is being written by Sarah Coulter.
SRG Films’ Dale Alexander Carnegie issued the following statement about the film:
“Chris Benoit has become a poster child for everything that’s wrong with professional wrestling and Sarah’s terrific script captures his struggles and the many factors that led to the deaths of three people. People immediately point to steroids, never thinking about the brain trauma these wrestlers can and do incur in their profession, nor do they consider the rigorous schedule that keeps them working even when they shouldn’t.”
Chris’ death shook the wrestling world very hard. His situation has also led to advancements in the field of brain study. Studies of his brain show the lingering concussion damage rendered his brain to the state of an eighty year old man suffering Alzheimer’s disease. New data has also been collected on the effects of concussions and new ways to protect athletes have been developed. WWE and the wrestling world have even begun to limit or eliminate the use of chair shots to the head and other activities known to cause or aggravate concussion to help prolong the health of their talents.
Here’s the description of the book the movie will be based on:
“In the notoriously crooked and exploitative world of professional wrestling, WWE legend Chris Benoit was supposed to be the exception. Chris was universally recognized as the best pro wrestling had to offer: a decent, humble, and devoted family man loved and admired by all who knew him. Nobody could have predicted the horrific events of June 22-24, 2007 when Chris strangled his wife and seven-year old son before committing suicide. RING OF HELL is the true story of Benoit’s journey through the destructive, dysfunctional, and bizarre pro wrestling industry and the catastrophic physical and mental breakdown that led to his grisly end.”
For many this will be a hard film to watch, it’s going to reopen a lot of painful memories. Wrestling fans were shocked and appalled at the events that occurred. Many have tried to forget the tragic events and focus on Benoit the performer. The man who many considered to be the greatest pro wrestler to have ever lived in terms of pure wrestling skill. At one time, Benoit was a sure thing to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Now, it is taboo to even mention his name.
The film will also be used by the media. Pro wrestling has a negative stigma attached to it already. Many opposed to wrestling will use this as fodder to condemn the sport and its participants much like the original events that inspired it were used to negatively impact the business.
I am personally against this film. I don’t want to see it made and drag these memories back to the surface. The family and friends of Benoit should be able to move on with what they have already dealt with and not have to deal with it all over again as many will certainly be asked difficult questions when the film does release. The fans should also be allowed to only remember the performer and not the one misdeed that wrecked an entire legacy. This film is going to open a Pandora’s Box. The production crew is likely aware of this and that’s why they are going to make it. As Eric Bischoff once said “controversy creates cash.”