Films about Cyber-crime or hacking are not in the mainstream nowadays. However, in recent years films with internet security themes are getting their fair share of high-end movie screen time. In the last two years, a couple of notable films with the same storylines are “Blackhat”, and Oliver Stone’s NSA breach biopic “Snowden”.
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According to reports, an upcoming film is going to add to this list. The film, entitled “Dark Web”, this film is based on a wired two-part account on the Silk Road and its convicted founder Ross William Ulbricht.
Fox Studios who has exclusive rights to the story have enlisted the services of two well-established and high profile film screenwriters, directors and editors in Hollywood; the Coen Brothers.
Ethan and Joel Coen are going to write the screenplay for the Silk Road film, but at the moment it is not known whether they will also direct the movie.
It would definitely be a great news if the brothers are directing the movie as well, but they are known to write films not as directors.
The Coen brothers have an enviable list of film-related achievements behind them spanning several decades including but not limited to “The Big Lebowski”, “True Grit”, “No country for Old Men”, “Fargo”, “O Brother”, “Where Art Thou?”, “Bridge of Spies” and “Hail Caesar”.
The brothers earned Oscars for their parts in “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men”.
As such, the expectations for this film will definitely be high. Silk Road, on which the film will be based, is the highly controversial online drug dealing dark web forum founded and operated by Ross William Ulbricht.
Silk Road was established in February 2011 and until his arrest in October 2013 by the FBI, Ulbricht operated the site under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”
He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole; a sentence that many people felt was unduly harsh.
According to investigations by the FBI, Silk Road facilitated anonymous channels for dealers to transact illegal goods and services most of which were drugs.
The film is set to dwell largely on the aspects of the dark web platforms.
According to some reports, the film will feature the alleged purchase of special services such as contract killings, an accusation that the FBI pointed at Dread Pirate Roberts.
Many Silk Road users have since slammed these allegations on online forums as false.
They deny the existence of such kinds of services claiming that Silk Road only facilitated the buying and selling of drugs.
Currently, the true inner details of the Silk Road and Dread Pirate Roberts are still murky.
As such, it is very likely that the film may not be 100% accurate as in the case with the majority of Hollywood movies that are based on true stories.
The aforementioned “Snowden” was the recent testament to this.
Also, the film will feature a part of the story that law enforcement agencies would rather prefer to stay low profiled.
Ross Ulbricht was not the only individual to be implicated in the Silk Road.
Two federal agents including Carl Force, a former DEA agent, were also charged with extorting and laundering bitcoins from the Silk Road platform and Ulbricht himself.
It is important to note that this is not the beginning of the work on this film.
The project started back in 2013, where Chernin Entertainment and Fox Studios enlisted Dennis Lehane to write the script for the movie. At the time it was titled Silk Road.
Lehane himself is a bestselling author and has films such as “Shutter Island”, “Gone Baby Gone”, and “Mystic River” under his name.
It is not clear what exactly prompted the changes or even if the new script is a continuation of Lehane’s work.
Fortunately for Dark Web, the Silk Road saga is still a developing story as a new Silk Road is currently in operation despite its founder being in prison.
Also, Ulbricht is still appealing the sentence with a major focus on the discrepancies in his trial process.
The film is still more than a year off with expected release dates in late 2017 or early 2018.
Therefore, the Coen Brothers still have an interesting range of directions in which to take the film depending on any developments within that given period of time.