Crossface, the planned biopic about notorious pro wrestler and double murderer Chris Benoit, has been shelved. According to Benoit’s son David, who has pro wrestling ambitions of his own, the movie was scrapped after the Benoit family saw the screenplay.
As explained by David in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, the filmmakers needed the family’s permission to move forward with the Chris Benoit project, but the Benoits rejected the proposal as the movie would have depicted the infamous tragedy.
“There was a director, everything bro. We had to step in because they wanted to do the tragedy about how it all went down. So we said no,” David explains, adding that the Benoit family even hired a lawyer to assist in getting the project shut down. He added: “They needed our permission. She sent us the script and then the end was the whole murder/suicide was gonna be all in it. We said no.” Making it clear that having portraying the details of the tragedy on the big screen was off the table, David also says that the family wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a new documentary about his father getting made, noting he has lots of home video footage to offer.
News of the biopic dates all the way back to 2011 when the movie was first announced. Using Matthew Randazzo V’s book Ring of Hell as a source of inspiration, the movie would have followed Benoit’s life, career, and death with Liev Schreiber rumored to play Benoit. Alex A. Ginzburg and Tony Lee were also set to produce with Ram Getz and Matthew Randazzo V executive producing. In 2016, the movie took another step forward by signing on Punisher: War Zone helmer Lexi Alexander to direct using a screenplay co-written by Jake Goldberger and Sarah Coulter. No new updates on the project’s status have since been given by those involved, but now it’s clear why.
Before the shocking details of the tragedy were made apparent, Chris Benoit was seen by WWE fans as one of the best in-ring performers the business has ever had. Based on his skills in the ring, the wrestler was a fan favorite superstar for many years and even managed to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XX in 2004. Just a few short years later, however, Benoit murdered his wife and 7-year-old son at their family home in Georgia before then taking his own life. An analysis of Benoit’s brain after the incident revealed the wrestler had suffered immense head trauma throughout the course of his career, which likely played a major role in the decline of his mental health.
In addition to carrying his father’s name, David also happens to be the spitting image of Chris. This might work against David’s pro wrestling ambitions, given the notoriety associated with the family name, though he still hopes to one day become a wrestling star, teasing a possible debut in WWE’s rival league All Elite Wrestling. You can watch the full interview with David Benoit below, courtesy of Chris Van Vliet.