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Too soon? WWE wrestler Chris Benoit's murder-suicide developed for film treatment

12.07.2011

It has powerful psychological drama written all over it, but is a film CROSSFACE in bad taste? It's based on the book The Ring to Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. Needless to say, it won't be a WWE produced film.

The book and future film will tell the tragic tale of how wrestler Chris Benoit, whose signature move was the "Crossface Crippler" murdered his wife and young son before taking his own life in 2007. It's an exploration of the factors that lead to such a mental breakdown, with drug use and head trauma to blame.

It could be an interesting look at the wrestling industry's dark secrets, but is in poor taste to make this film when the events happened as recently as four years ago? I remember when I learned ALPHA DOG was a true story and the murderers involved were still in court as the film was released. That reeked of "too soon" and this kind of does as well to me.

What do you think? Should we be allowed to tell the story of tragedies soon after they happen, or is there a waiting period that should be observed?

Extra Tidbit: Usually the question is "how long does a tragedy take for you to be able to crack jokes about it" a-la-the Titanic or South Park's famous AIDS episode. But what if it's just a dramatic retelling of the story?
Source: Deadline

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2:21PM on 12/08/2011
If this is going to be a documentary, I have NO problem.
Otherwise forget it and its nothing to do with being 'too soon' because the only person who can play Chris Benoit is, (duh) Chris Benoit.
If this is going to be a documentary, I have NO problem.
Otherwise forget it and its nothing to do with being 'too soon' because the only person who can play Chris Benoit is, (duh) Chris Benoit.
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10:31AM on 12/08/2011
Benoit was one of the ebst in the ring, but I rather not watch a movie based on the tragedy if its just to make money. Besides, I doubt Vince McMahon will let go pass the development stage.
Benoit was one of the ebst in the ring, but I rather not watch a movie based on the tragedy if its just to make money. Besides, I doubt Vince McMahon will let go pass the development stage.
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-1
5:07AM on 12/08/2011

NO.

Too soon? Yes but that's not the point. I was a Benoit fan when I watched wrestling in middle school. He was one of the few heels I would root for, and every week when he wrestled Chris Jericho was fun and exciting.
Of course I hadn't watched wrestling since 2004 or so when I read about his family's end. I was greatly disturbed to find that an entertainer, an athlete yes but still an entertainer, could be capable of such horrors.
Its not a matter of timing. Its a matter of taste. Things that
Too soon? Yes but that's not the point. I was a Benoit fan when I watched wrestling in middle school. He was one of the few heels I would root for, and every week when he wrestled Chris Jericho was fun and exciting.
Of course I hadn't watched wrestling since 2004 or so when I read about his family's end. I was greatly disturbed to find that an entertainer, an athlete yes but still an entertainer, could be capable of such horrors.
Its not a matter of timing. Its a matter of taste. Things that are news a few years ago are films now, that's just how fast we movie with information these days, but I really don't think the public needs a film about this. I really don't. It would be like making a film about the OJ Simpson murders (thank GOD no one has done that yet.) I don't feel that its respectful of anyone (especially his poor family) to make this into an even more crass commercial.
A film about Eddie Gurerro? Why not. A film about anyone else in the wrestling world? Sure. The Wrestler gave us an abstract, give us Triple H's biopic, or hell, even Hulk Hogan.
Just don't turn a tragedy into a farce.
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2:46AM on 12/08/2011

do it!

i think it's an interesting story... there is a lot to be said about the wrestling industry's medical/psychological neglect of its performers. This film, if done right, could be brilliant. Its not often that stories of this nature with such a tragic end are adapted for film. Definitely not too soon and only in bad taste if exploited due to personal bias by writer.
i think it's an interesting story... there is a lot to be said about the wrestling industry's medical/psychological neglect of its performers. This film, if done right, could be brilliant. Its not often that stories of this nature with such a tragic end are adapted for film. Definitely not too soon and only in bad taste if exploited due to personal bias by writer.
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+3
1:56AM on 12/08/2011

If there's a book !

why would it be okay to write a book and not make a movie !?
why would it be okay to write a book and not make a movie !?
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12:47AM on 12/08/2011

Ugh, this is a tough one...

Benoit was my favorite wrestler of all time...athlete even whom inspired me by his story for many years and I was crushed by how it all ended. It stopped me from watching wrestling until just recently when The Rock came back and I've been intrigued by CM Punk. However, as TronDomingo states below...Chris truly did have an uplifting story for his career. I hate to say it but I would like to see this made if done right. 9/11 movies started to be made about 5 years after and though this situation
Benoit was my favorite wrestler of all time...athlete even whom inspired me by his story for many years and I was crushed by how it all ended. It stopped me from watching wrestling until just recently when The Rock came back and I've been intrigued by CM Punk. However, as TronDomingo states below...Chris truly did have an uplifting story for his career. I hate to say it but I would like to see this made if done right. 9/11 movies started to be made about 5 years after and though this situation fails in comparison movies like WTC and United 93 got criticized for being released so early from the incident but were very well respected films. My question is who would play Benny? Tom Hardy maybe or is he played out already?
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5:33PM on 12/07/2011

Make The Movie

Prior to the events in 2007, Chris Benoit's story is quite the uplifting one. He never had the charisma of the big names of the "sport", yet his technical ability simply could not be ignored. To depict that alongside the tragedy that took the family could produce quite the powerful cautionary tale as to how much damage one can inflict on themselves before it destroys them and those around them. Hopefully, such a film is done in test, but as someone who was a huge fan of Benoit when he was
Prior to the events in 2007, Chris Benoit's story is quite the uplifting one. He never had the charisma of the big names of the "sport", yet his technical ability simply could not be ignored. To depict that alongside the tragedy that took the family could produce quite the powerful cautionary tale as to how much damage one can inflict on themselves before it destroys them and those around them. Hopefully, such a film is done in test, but as someone who was a huge fan of Benoit when he was wrestling and someone that was stunned when I heard the news, a film of the story would have enormous potential.

P.S. Upvote if Tassi's wrong and it's "Crippler Crossface".
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12:54AM on 12/08/2011
Spoken like a true fan of the wrestler, Chris Benoit.
Spoken like a true fan of the wrestler, Chris Benoit.
3:53PM on 12/07/2011
a story like this does not warrant a movie cuz they are always biased & do ya really think the wwe would allow its brand to be exploited in a negative way, this is a major fail & sad. There is a reason why he did not get the tribute the way others who have passed on.

Why not make a movie about a wrestler who deserves to have his story told on the big screen like Owen Hart or Eddie Guererro, etc
a story like this does not warrant a movie cuz they are always biased & do ya really think the wwe would allow its brand to be exploited in a negative way, this is a major fail & sad. There is a reason why he did not get the tribute the way others who have passed on.

Why not make a movie about a wrestler who deserves to have his story told on the big screen like Owen Hart or Eddie Guererro, etc
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5:51PM on 12/07/2011
And you think WWE would allow to tell any true wrestler-stories? Owen Hart died during a pointless, badly executed and planned stunt and Eddie Guerrero was pretty much on drugs his entire last run in that company!
And you think WWE would allow to tell any true wrestler-stories? Owen Hart died during a pointless, badly executed and planned stunt and Eddie Guerrero was pretty much on drugs his entire last run in that company!
6:21PM on 12/07/2011
what wrestler hasn't been on drugs at some point but did any of them kill their family & themselves, this is why movies like this do not need to be made PERIOD.
what wrestler hasn't been on drugs at some point but did any of them kill their family & themselves, this is why movies like this do not need to be made PERIOD.
2:38AM on 12/08/2011
Yeah, you´re right. Don´t do movies about human tragedies like this and act like that never happened! The world will be such a nicer, warmer place for it!
Yeah, you´re right. Don´t do movies about human tragedies like this and act like that never happened! The world will be such a nicer, warmer place for it!
3:25PM on 12/07/2011
This sounds like a great story, disturbing for sure... but that's what I want in a film. I don't buy that too soon for your heartstrings nonsense for a second.
This sounds like a great story, disturbing for sure... but that's what I want in a film. I don't buy that too soon for your heartstrings nonsense for a second.
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3:02PM on 12/07/2011
I don't have a problem with this. Benoit was a fabulous wrestler and if done tastefully this movie could teach a lot of people things about the seedier side of wrestling. Its way past time someone shine a spotlight on the countless tragedies from wrestling. So many of my wrestlers from when I was growing up are dead now. Henning, Benoit, Pillman, Rude, Bulldog, Owen Hart. Many, if not all, were pointless deaths all in the name of entertainment. Besides Owen, all these other men were doped up
I don't have a problem with this. Benoit was a fabulous wrestler and if done tastefully this movie could teach a lot of people things about the seedier side of wrestling. Its way past time someone shine a spotlight on the countless tragedies from wrestling. So many of my wrestlers from when I was growing up are dead now. Henning, Benoit, Pillman, Rude, Bulldog, Owen Hart. Many, if not all, were pointless deaths all in the name of entertainment. Besides Owen, all these other men were doped up on painkillers and God knows what else just to keep the paychecks coming. They work 300+ days a year, hopefully this movie will address some of these atrocities.
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+1
2:56PM on 12/07/2011
I don't watch wrestling, so I could not care less. Yet it all depends on how it's handled. They probably shouldn't make it into a comedy with Kevin James. (Although that concept sounds better than Grown Ups 2)
I don't watch wrestling, so I could not care less. Yet it all depends on how it's handled. They probably shouldn't make it into a comedy with Kevin James. (Although that concept sounds better than Grown Ups 2)
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+8
2:54PM on 12/07/2011
Why should it be too soon? And is it better to make a movie about this tragedy and maybe, just maybe get a reaction from people being in this industry and using and dealing with steroids or is it better to act like that shit never happened and Chris Benoit never existed (as WWE is doing)? I say if its got a good script and doesnt shy away from from touching some hot topics, bring it on!
Why should it be too soon? And is it better to make a movie about this tragedy and maybe, just maybe get a reaction from people being in this industry and using and dealing with steroids or is it better to act like that shit never happened and Chris Benoit never existed (as WWE is doing)? I say if its got a good script and doesnt shy away from from touching some hot topics, bring it on!
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2:45PM on 12/07/2011
yes. too soon. Who would see it beside his fans who were heartbroken by this tragic thing.
yes. too soon. Who would see it beside his fans who were heartbroken by this tragic thing.
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+9
2:12PM on 12/07/2011

Unless someone beat me to it...

From my younger years of watching Smackdown when it was first conceived I always heard it and remembered it as "The Crippler Crossface". WTF is a "Crossface Crippler"?
From my younger years of watching Smackdown when it was first conceived I always heard it and remembered it as "The Crippler Crossface". WTF is a "Crossface Crippler"?
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2:11PM on 12/07/2011
Way Too Early And Tasteless.
Way Too Early And Tasteless.
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+0
2:08PM on 12/07/2011
This is really sad, and another example of horrible taste and why our culture is going in the toilet. Why does this deserve to become a movie other than to make some dumbass executive a paycheck?
This is really sad, and another example of horrible taste and why our culture is going in the toilet. Why does this deserve to become a movie other than to make some dumbass executive a paycheck?
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2:06PM on 12/07/2011
I think this story should always be too soon. I really don't want to see this. The most I would want to see of this is a documentary about everything related to substance abuse in the WWE. But never a movie about this tragedy.

Benoit was my favorite wrestler. I don't give a flying fuck about the flamers that will hate on me for liking "fake wrestling" as they call it. It's a form of entertainment...plain and simple. Any movie (or any fight scene in any movie) is a "fake" representation of
I think this story should always be too soon. I really don't want to see this. The most I would want to see of this is a documentary about everything related to substance abuse in the WWE. But never a movie about this tragedy.

Benoit was my favorite wrestler. I don't give a flying fuck about the flamers that will hate on me for liking "fake wrestling" as they call it. It's a form of entertainment...plain and simple. Any movie (or any fight scene in any movie) is a "fake" representation of something for the purpose of entertainment so go fuck yourselves you hypocritical bastards.

I grew up watching WCW and WWF and Benoit was awesome. What happened with him was a huge gut punch to myself and I'm sure thousands of people out there. It's terrible, and I don't think there needs to be a movie about it.
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1:27PM on 12/07/2011
I didn't think Alpha Dog was too soon, and I don't think this is. I'm actually pretty interested in seeing this.
I didn't think Alpha Dog was too soon, and I don't think this is. I'm actually pretty interested in seeing this.
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1:24PM on 12/07/2011
I don't think it's too soon, provided this isn't going to be some cheap exploitative crap. If they want to tell a real story with insight, go for it!
I don't think it's too soon, provided this isn't going to be some cheap exploitative crap. If they want to tell a real story with insight, go for it!
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+7
1:21PM on 12/07/2011

Never too soon.

They made 9-11 movies less than 4 years after it happening, and there are countless movies about the wars in the middle east.

Yeah, we can let a drama piece about a prowrestler losing his mind and killing is family be greenlit.
They made 9-11 movies less than 4 years after it happening, and there are countless movies about the wars in the middle east.

Yeah, we can let a drama piece about a prowrestler losing his mind and killing is family be greenlit.
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1:10PM on 12/07/2011
It's too soon when you try to exploit a situation to make money. It's never too soon when you really try explore the subject and make something thoughtful.

Last time I watched wrestling Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior were still on top. That's more than 20 years ago. I'm a little familiar with Chirs Benoit and I have totally forgotten about what happen. Color me interested if it's handled the right way. And just the facts that I didn't remember what happened - and I'm probably not alone
It's too soon when you try to exploit a situation to make money. It's never too soon when you really try explore the subject and make something thoughtful.

Last time I watched wrestling Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior were still on top. That's more than 20 years ago. I'm a little familiar with Chirs Benoit and I have totally forgotten about what happen. Color me interested if it's handled the right way. And just the facts that I didn't remember what happened - and I'm probably not alone - proves that it's not too soon anyhow.
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+9
12:56PM on 12/07/2011
If they could make 9/11 movies they can make a Benoit film.

I'm curious who they would to play Benoit.
If they could make 9/11 movies they can make a Benoit film.

I'm curious who they would to play Benoit.
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+11
12:50PM on 12/07/2011
I believe you mean "Crippler Crossface".

Whilst the circumstances of the story are dreadful, there is no denying Benoit was an incredible wrestler, deserving of Hall of Fame recognition. Whilst heavily controversial to some for the timing/subject matter, there is no denying that it would make for an interesting film. Especially as the WWE have swept every mention of Benoit under the rug since the tragic event.
I believe you mean "Crippler Crossface".

Whilst the circumstances of the story are dreadful, there is no denying Benoit was an incredible wrestler, deserving of Hall of Fame recognition. Whilst heavily controversial to some for the timing/subject matter, there is no denying that it would make for an interesting film. Especially as the WWE have swept every mention of Benoit under the rug since the tragic event.
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1:31PM on 12/07/2011
I didn't know there was a Hall of Fame for fake wrestling.
I didn't know there was a Hall of Fame for fake wrestling.
4:12PM on 12/07/2011
Whilst I enjoy and appreciate wrestling as a theatrical sport. I never once made mention, that I believed it to be real.

I stated that he was of a standard usually recognised in the WWE Hall of Fame. Rather than be completely naive and ignorant about something you clearly know nothing about why don't you go watch 'Beyond the mat' and realise that although it's a charade, it is a technical sport and accidents/injuries do often occur,
Whilst I enjoy and appreciate wrestling as a theatrical sport. I never once made mention, that I believed it to be real.

I stated that he was of a standard usually recognised in the WWE Hall of Fame. Rather than be completely naive and ignorant about something you clearly know nothing about why don't you go watch 'Beyond the mat' and realise that although it's a charade, it is a technical sport and accidents/injuries do often occur,
10:33AM on 12/08/2011
@Preston: Just another ignorant asshole who thinks that he's cool because he watches UFC. You try doing what they do and come back with a real reply.
@Preston: Just another ignorant asshole who thinks that he's cool because he watches UFC. You try doing what they do and come back with a real reply.
3:51PM on 12/08/2011
And I'm not saying anyone here is saying it's real. What? Seriously, I didn't know the fake wrestling had a Hall of Fame. I'm not dissing. I know they're all really athletic and even with the steroid abuse, it's hard to get that big. Oh, and I don't watch UFC. And on another note, go fuck yourselves for attacking my innocent comment.
And I'm not saying anyone here is saying it's real. What? Seriously, I didn't know the fake wrestling had a Hall of Fame. I'm not dissing. I know they're all really athletic and even with the steroid abuse, it's hard to get that big. Oh, and I don't watch UFC. And on another note, go fuck yourselves for attacking my innocent comment.
7:07PM on 12/08/2011
My response was not an attack on your comment, merely a defense of my enjoyment of wrestling.

Your comment
although perhaps not intentional, has a tone of sarcasm most wrestling fans endure from non wrestling fans/ufc fans on a regular basis, usually in a patronising manner of 'it's fake', implying for some reason we never got the memo.

I try not to overly read sarcasm into comments, but it is very easy to misinterpret a comment like your original. To answer your original comment, yes
My response was not an attack on your comment, merely a defense of my enjoyment of wrestling.

Your comment
although perhaps not intentional, has a tone of sarcasm most wrestling fans endure from non wrestling fans/ufc fans on a regular basis, usually in a patronising manner of 'it's fake', implying for some reason we never got the memo.

I try not to overly read sarcasm into comments, but it is very easy to misinterpret a comment like your original. To answer your original comment, yes there is a hall of fame, to credit those of either great presence or technical ability inside the ring...even though it's scripted and choreographed.
-9
12:46PM on 12/07/2011

eh

too soon
too soon
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-7
12:45PM on 12/07/2011
too soon
too soon
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