Saturday, 19 November 2016

Joel and Ethan Coen set to script Dark Web

In between their own films, Joel and Ethan Coen (Hail, Caesar!) pick up other scriptwriting jobs to keep their skills honed. Their most recent credit was on Steven Spielberg's Bridge Of Spies (2015), and now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that they have accepted a job writing a thriller called Dark Web.

20th Century Fox have the pair working on the new film, which once went by the name Silk Road and originates with a 2013 article written for Wired by Joshua Berman. The 'dark web' Silk Road (named after the historic trade route) achieved rather more publicity than it would have liked when it was shut down. The hidden site, only accessible to people using the anonymising browser Tor, was like an eBay for illegal substances – a place where you could buy heroin, cocaine and meth using the Bitcoin currency. It had almost a million registered clients and was run by the whimsically monikered Dread Pirate Roberts, who was fond of publishing lengthy libertarian diatribes on the site.

29-year-old Ross Ulbricht is the guy accused of being behind the buccaneer pseudonym, though he currently denies it. He was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking and conspiracy to traffic narcotics in 2015 and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

Crime novel legend and occasional screenwriter Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island) was hired to write the adaptation originally, shortly after Chernin Entertainment bought the rights, and now the Coen brothers will be writing a new draft.

While the pair haven't revealed their own definite next film, they did co-write the script for George Clooney's (The Monuments Men) latest film, crime comedy Suburbicon, which is shooting now.

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