Coen brothers to write tech thriller based on Silk Road

‘Dark Web’ will be about Ross William Ulbricht, the Dread Pirate Roberts behind illegal online drug emporium

Guardian News & Media Ltd
10:25 October 16, 2016

Joel and Ethan Coen have signed on to write the script for the tech thriller Dark Web.

The Oscar-winning duo were brought on to take a second crack at the screenplay, following author Dennis Lehane’s original draft, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The project is based on a two-part Wired magazine article by Joshua Bearman. It concerns the true story of how Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year-old who built an Amazon-like online market for illegal goods (called the Silk Road), slowly morphed into an alleged murderous kingpin.

The Hollywood Reporter teases that the story’s many twists call to mind the structure of the Coen brothers’ own Fargo.

Ulbricht, who US authorities identified as Dread Pirate Roberts, is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling narcotics and money laundering.

The Coen brothers last wrote and directed the period Hollywood satire Hail, Caesar!. They’ve won screenplay Oscars for No Country for Old Men and Fargo.

The pair also often write scripts for projects they don’t direct, like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, and Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, for which they were Oscar nominated.

For director George Clooney, they collaborated on the script for the 1950s-set crime mystery Suburbicon.

The film is currently in the midst of filming. No director has been attached as of yet to Dark Web.