The movie will focus not only on the rise and fall of Silk Road—one of the largest online black markets for illegal substances—but on creator Ulbricht's past, as well as allegations that he put out a hit on a Silk Road client who was blackmailing him.
The film is based on an article journalist Joshua Davis is currently writing for Wired Magazine, and has already been picked up by 20th Century Fox. (Deadline's Mike Fleming incorrectly reported that the article would be written for Davis' new publishing venture, Epic; I've confirmed with Fox that the article itself will be written for Wired.) Davis and Joshuah Bearman launched Epic, a new publishing platform, just a few short months ago in order to host engaging longform content with an eye towards stories that could work for Hollywood. Fox quickly, and brilliantly, snapped the two up into a first look deal—signifying a real shift from a major studio away from big budget action films to incredible true life stories. Prior to their deal, Bearman and Davis had individually set up over 20 articles at various studios, the most high profile being Bearman's Wired article that was turned into Argo.
The pair will produce alongside Chernin Entertainment, who attached writer Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone).