Hunger Games’ Francis Lawrence to direct Gawker v. Hulk Hogan movie
It was one of the most bizarre trials in recent history, and nearly two years after its conclusion, two films are already in development surrounding the tale, one of which has just hired Francis Lawrence to direct for Blackrock Productions.
Based on the book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday, the film will depict the trial of Bollea v. Gawker, in which Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Gene Bollea) sued the media organization, its employees and affiliates for publishing portions of a sex tape between Hogan and Heather Clem, who was the wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge at the time it was filmed. Hogan came out victorious following a two-week trial in which the jury awarded him $115 million in compensatory damages, only for the fight to continue past the trial with Hogan suing Gawker once again for leaking court documents and after six months of struggling, the two came to a $31 million settlement and the closure of the infamous website.
The film adaptation of the trial will be scripted by Charles Randolph, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The Big Short, and produced by David A. Neuman and Lawrence, who is well-known for directing three of the four Hunger Games films, as well as recently helming the spy thriller Red Sparrow, which saw him re-team with actress Jennifer Lawrence.
“When I read Ryan’s extraordinary book I was totally taken with this story, such an exquisitely contemporary tale, and I immediately had a vision for it as a film,” Francis Lawrence said. “It’s an important and meaningful story, and one I’m excited to tell. I’m thrilled to come aboard and to work with this team.”
In addition to Conspiracy, Hollywood is currently developing Gawker v. Thiel with Jason Winer (Modern Family) set to direct the film, with documentary Nobody Speak having hit Netflix last year following the streaming service picking it up after last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Lawrence is currently working on a reboot of Battlestar Galactica for Universal.