“The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence and “The Big Short” writer Charles Randolph are attached to the upcoming adaptation of “Conspiracy,” Ryan Holiday’s book about Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker that forced the site to go bankrupt.
The announcement was made by Blackrock Productions. Blackrock’s CEO David A. Neuman will produce the film with Lawrence. Blackrock says it is looking for top talent to play Hogan, as well as Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who secretly funded the wrestler’s lawsuit, and Gawker founder Nick Denton.
“Ryan Holiday’s book and the story it tells are rare gifts for a screenwriter,” said Randolph, who won an Oscar for “The Big Short.” “These are such larger-than-life characters – strange, new volatile forces in society – and their conflict matters.”
Hogan filed his lawsuit against Gawker for publishing a sex tape he was featured in and received the support of Thiel in part because the news site and gossip blog outed him as gay in 2007.
Hogan won the lawsuit and $140 million in damages, forcing Gawker to declare bankruptcy and shut down. Gawker’s sister sites were sold to Univision under the name Gizmodo Media. Holiday’s book is noted for being the only one to feature on-the-record interviews with Thiel, Denton, Hogan, Hogan attorney Charles Harder and A.J. Daulerio, the Gawker editor who published the sex tape.
This is the second drama based on the lawsuit that is currently in development. “Modern Family” director Jason Winer is also attached to direct another film, “Gawker v. Thiel,” with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan producing. Netflix also released a documentary about the trial, “Nobody Speak,” last year.
Lawrence, who released the spy thriller “Red Sparrow” earlier this year, is currently attached to direct the pilot for the Apple TV series “See” as well as Universal’s planned reboot of “Battlestar Galactica.” He is repped by CAA and 3Arts.
McKay is also attached to write a film about Fox News/NBC anchor Megyn Kelly. He is repped by CAA and Paul Hastings LLP.