With the trial of alleged Silk Road kingpin and known library computer user Ross Ulbricht currently underway, it's a pretty good time to announce a true crime book and movie package based on the whole thing, don't you think? Yes, the Associated Press reports that Hatching Twitter author Nick Bilton is writing a book on the Silk Road and has already sold the rights to 20th Century Fox for the full movie treatment.
It makes sense that Bilton, who's a New York Times columnist in addition to penning the Twitter bestseller, would be the one to tell this story. It's the juiciest, sexiest, druggiest Silicon Valley story out there, no? Plus Hatching Twitter has already been optioned for television, so he's basically the guy.
For the Twitter and Silk Road adaptations, we can probably expect stuff along the lines of The Social Network, which was in turn based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. So, if you find Hollywood's Silicon Valley obsession cool, and if you like watching movies about people working on computers, then prepare to be on the edge of your seat. At least the Silk Road adaptation could have more elements of, say, Breaking Bad.
As Sarah Jeong and Susie Cagle continue their stellar Forbes coverage of the many trials of Ross Ulbricht, it's high time to start fantasy casting this vehicle. Here, my esteemed colleague Eve Batey notes that Ulbricht could be played by one of two actors depending on the direction that the real life story and film adaptation take. Her call for "Wrongly Accused and/or Swashbuckling Daredevil" Ulbricht is Robert Pattinson. Seriously, do a side by side. For "Weak Nerd Who's Only Got Balls When He's Behind A Keyboard," she suggests using Dear White People/American Sniper actor Kyle Gallner. Casting agents, your work is done.
From a legal precedent standpoint, the Silk Road case is an exciting tale with big implications. We should all care about it, and if the only thing people care about is movies, then this adaptation welcome news. Who knows if that make this a great film, or even a good book, but the jury is still out... literally.
And get this: there's already a sequel option, with Silk Road 2.0 and the arrest of Blake Benthall.