In 2016, Hulkamania ran wild over Gawker when Hulk Hogan—whose real name is Terry Bollea—sued the site for posting a video of him having sex with a friend’s wife. Hogan won the lawsuit and was awarded $140 million, a sum that forced Gawker to file for bankruptcy and shut down, with Univision Communications (which also owns The A.V. Club) eventually buying the rebranded Gizmodo Media Group. The whole thing also indirectly led to some changes to how commenting works on what is probably your favorite website, but that’s only relevant in the sense that the world is complicated and weird sometimes.
According to Deadline, Blackrock Productions has just picked up the rights to a book about the saga, Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy—Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, And The Anatomy Of Intrigue, which it’s hoping to adapt into either a limited TV series or a movie. Along with the basic lawsuit drama, it sounds like this adaptation will also touch on the unexpected twist that billionaire Trump supporter Peter Thiel was Hogan’s mysterious benefactor the whole time, pulling the strings and orchestrating a definitive vengeance against Gawker for outing him as gay in a 2007 article. Rather than an attack on the free press, Thiel positioned his somewhat-covert campaign against Gawker as a personal privacy issue.
Blackrock head David A. Neuman says the film and TV versions of the adaptation are both “very far along,” and which path it takes will apparently depend on “the talent.” Basically, it’ll be a movie if Tom Hanks wants to play Hulk Hogan, and it’ll be a limited TV series if Hulk Hogan plays himself. If it does become a movie, this will follow last year’s 2017 Netflix documentary Nobody Speak: Trials Of The Free Press, which connected the Gawker drama to Donald Trump’s war on “fake news.”