Casting the Crippler: Who Should Star in the Tragic Tale of Chris Benoit?
In June, 2007 the rather niche community of professional wrestling stole the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. This was due to the double murder suicide committed by one of wrestling’s most beloved Superstars, Chris Benoit. The Rabid Wolverine’s story fits the mold of a Shakespearean tragedy like a glove but is rarely brought up. This is mainly due to the WWE’s efforts to extinguish the memory of the man that brought so much unwanted attention to the company. True wrestling fans see this treatment as unfair to Benoit and the unforgivable acts he committed were a bi-product of the dark ages of the business mixed with his inner demons.
There are positive outcomes to this grim story. For starters the incident lead to the WWE as main focus of steroid investigations. This was also the beginning of all the CTE buzz as Benoit’s brain trauma was mostly to blame for his actions. Fans who are still disturbed by the fallen star have been calling for a movie and that day may just be upon us. Director Lexi Alexander has decided to take on the role of capturing the life of such a polarizing figure aptly titled “Crossface”. If done correctly there may finally be closure for upset wrestling fans. The story itself becomes more and more fascinating the further removed we get from the incident. Unfortunately story alone does not put asses in the seats. An all star cast is needed for this movie to work and I am here to offer my suggestions as a fan of Benoit as well as a sympathizer for him and his victims.
Eddie Guerrero played by Michael Peña
It was well known that Benoit and Guerrero were thick as thieves. It is said that Guerrero’s tragic death emotionally destroyed Benoit and may have lead to even more substance abuse than before. Peña has been recently thriving in supporting roles (Fury, End of Watch)and i think this scenario would be no different. We have seen Peña play a tough guy before and this role will call for that same fire. They look nothing alike but I can get past that for the sake of solid acting in a crucial role.
Nancy Benoit played by Rebecca Hall
The Benoit family did not have the most ideal relationship. Both Chris and Nancy combined for a total of 5 marriages. There were multiple situations of domestic abuse and threatened divorces. A creative script can highlight the pain these two endured as well as show the successful moments in their relationship. Rebecca Hall did fantastic work in The Town. I’ll be honest that’s all I have seen her in but she’s earned my respect.
Vince McMahon Played by Willem Dafoe
Vince McMahon is still getting criticized for how he handled the Benoit situation. The criticism is definitely justified for how Benoit’s memory is being portrayed. We all know the boss is a tad bit crazy and no one plays crazy quite like Willem Dafoe. With a little Just for Men Touch of Gray he will be ready to play a somewhat villainous boss. Depending on the lighting and how much you choose to squint there is a slight resemblance with these two.
Chris Jericho played by Charlie Hunnam
With so many unanswered questions many went to the man that knew Benoit the most. That man was Chris Jericho. He knew Benoit for an extremely long time and has been very open about the inner demons his friend faced. Charlie Hunnam has the Jericho look and the talent to played the post-tragedy betrayed friend.
Chris Benoit played by Liev Schreiber
This is by no means my idea but it fits so well. They both look scarily similar and Liev Schreiber has proven he can play a Canadian (Goon). Schreiber has hit his stride with Ray Donavan and is the perfect name to stamp to this iconic story. Originally when the rumblings of this movie came out Schreiber was the presumptive choice and it still holds true as of right now.
The chances of this cast teaming up for such a controversial movie is slim to none but one could only hope. More importantly lets hope, as wrestling fans,that this movie is done accurately regardless of what the WWE wants. This includes highlighting his many championships in the ring. It is pretty safe to assume that if Benoit’s story was managed properly by the WWE while he was still alive, the tragic outcome may have been slightly different.