The lengthy legal case between pro wrestling icon Hulk Hogan and former online media giant Gawker may be over, but there’s still an incredible story to tell. And that story will apparently be told on Netflix.
According to Deadline, Netflix has acquired the rights to a documentary about the entirety of the lawsuit, and all the twists, turns, and scandals that unfolded from it. Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press is the name of the film, directed by Brian Knappenberger. It will chronicle Gawker Media first posting portions of a sex tape that Hogan made with the wife of his friend Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem, the host of a radio show, and the subsequent lawsuit that Hogan filed against them in response.
Hogan eventually won the lawsuit, to the tune of $140 million. Along the way, he was fired from his WWE job when racist audio from another part of the tape leaked to the public. After losing the lawsuit, Gawker was basically bankrupt and forced to sell off its assets and close up shop.
The documentary will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday afternoon. Five different distribution outlets put bids on the film, with Netflix paying a reported $2 million to secure the rights.
Here is a more detailed description of the film, from the Sundance website:
When online tabloid Gawker posted a sex tape starring former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, a high-stakes legal battle pitting privacy rights against the First Amendment ensued. Hogan won the case and the staggering settlement he received not only bankrupted Gawker and its founder Nick Denton, but also exposed a controversial, behind-the-scenes benefactor: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
Whether you love or hate Gawker, Brian Knappenberger’s gripping polemic reveals the forces that really brought down the news portal. Taking examples like Sheldon Adelson’s purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this compelling documentary illustrates a growing, sinister trend at odds with our country’s free press. Corporate executives, titans, and billionaires are tipping the balance on the public’s access to news, posing new threats to society’s relationship to the truth.
Knappenberger’s knack for capturing timely and provocative shifts in the new digital era is instinctive. Fusing exhaustive interviews with Denton, commentators, and journalists NOBODY SPEAK weaves a disturbing, fascinating tale of power and truth whose moral runs to the core of democracy.
Sounds very interesting if you’re a wrestling fan, or just curious about the current state of the First Amendment.