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The Coen brothers, independent U.S. movie makers who are known for making acclaimed dramatic movies, will help script a Fox movie about Ross Ulbricht and the Silk Road marketplace, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ulbricht was convicted in February of 2015 of seven felony charges including drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and a kingpin charge. He ultimately became an accused murderer.

Based On a Wired Story

The Coen brothers movie is based on a twopart Wired magazine article by Joshuah Bearman. The Coens are following an earlier draft by Dennis Lehane, who wrote “Live by Night” and “Shutter Island.” Lehane is taking the first crack at the movie’s screenplay.

The Wired article, published in 2015, followed Ulbricht’s real-life journey from a used bookseller to a murderous drug kingpin. Ulbricht used the name “Dread Pirate Roberts” in building up his illegal online drug marketplace, The Silk Road.

Some news articles about Silk Road referred to the story as Coen Brothers-esque due to its similarities to the brothers’ sordid movie, Fargo, which portrayed a bizarre murder in North Dakota.


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The Coen brothers most recent movie is “Hail, Caesar.” They won an Oscar for the screenplay of “No Country for Older Men.” They have also been known to tackle scripts for movies they don’t direct, such as Steven Spielberg’s “Bridges of Spies” and the Angelina Jolie-helmed “Unbroken.”

Jenno Topping and Peter Chernin are producing the new movie alongside Bearman and Joshua Davis.

Also read: Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road Sentenced to Life; ‘Deep Web’ Documentary to Tell It All 

Coens Not the First

The Coen brothers are not the first movie makers to tackle the Silk Road saga.

“Deep Web,” a 90-minute EPIX documentary released in 2015, chronicled Ulbricht’s arrest.

The documentary focused on the architects of the Deep Web, including anarchistic cryptographers who developed the Deep Web’s tools for the military in the early 1990s. The film also examined the dissident journalists and whistleblowers who immediately sought refuge in this seemingly secure environment.

Coen Brothers films also include Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), Burn After Reading (2008) and True Grit.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Lester Coleman

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries. He is available for writing and media relations assignments.