Academy Award-nominated director Lexi Alexander, a huge supporter of our "Cinema in Noir" podcast, has just signed on to direct a new film based on the life of late wrestler Chris Benoit. I'll admit, I've never seen a single wrestling match ever in life, and I am mainly interested in the fact that Alexander will be at the helm (not only is she unafraid to be vocal about racial and political injustice in Hollywood, but she has managed to evade the stereotypical films Hollywood consistently throws at women filmmakers). CROSSFACE looks to be yet another fist clenching project to add onto her list of credits, which already include Supergirl, Arrow, and Punisher: War Zone.
As a non-wrestling fan, I had to look up Benoit's story online, and my, what a narrative it is: Professional prestige, fame, and murder. I'm curious to see how Alexander will tackle the themes in this movie, which I'm sure folks will want to compare to Foxcatcher. But I have a feeling she'll be able to highlight more of the nuance and vulnerability of Benoit's story. Benoit's story may also remind folks of the Will Smith movie, Concussion, which suggests that repeated blows to the head in aggressive sports can lead to concussion and brain damage (which reportedly caused Benoit to commit double-murder homicide).
Here's a little more about the movie:
From the Let It Play Productions press release, Alexander states: “I was pretty certain I'd stay in TV rather than returning to the feature world, because the material just seems so much better in TV, especially in drama, but then “Crossface” came my way. A heartbreaking, true story about the dark side of wrestling...I couldn't say no to that."
My body is ready.