EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has acquired the crime thriller Silk Road, starring Jason Clarke, Nick Robinson, Alexandra Shipp, Jimmi Simpson, Katie Aselton, Lexi Rabe, Daniel Stewart, Darrell Britt-Gibson and Paul Walter Hauser. Tiller Russell wrote and directed the pic and the plan is for a domestic release in theaters, on digital and video on demand on February 19, 2021.
Following its theatrical, digital, and VOD debut, the film will be available to purchase on Blu-ray and DVD on February 23.
Based on larger-than-life true events, Silk Road focuses on the young, affluent and highly motivated entrepreneur Ross Ulbricht (Robinson), whose ambitious goal is to launch the Internet’s first completely anonymous and unregulated marketplace. With Ulbricht’s passion for the possibilities his invention offers the world, his site – the Silk Road – becomes the world’s fastest-growing drug market, catching the focus of disgraced DEA agent Rick Bowden (Clarke). A dinosaur with a habit for substance abuse and blowing cases, Bowden once had street savvy in dark corners but is unprepared for the dark web as he struggles through tutorials on how to use the Internet. As both men’s private lives erode, with Bowden in over his head and Ross’ growing paranoia driving unthinkable choices, they cling to their jobs in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse that have both asking how far their idealism can take them.
The pic is based on the Rolling Stone article “Dead End On Silk Road” by David Kushner. The film is produced by Stephen Gans, David Hyman, Duncan Montgomery, Alex Orlovsky and Jack Selby, and executive produced by B. Thomas Golisano, Dawn Bierschwal, Christopher Figg, Elika Portnoy and Robert Whitehouse. The deal for the film was brokered by Endeavor Content, and by Lionsgate VP Acquisitions Lauren Bixby.
Years after the legal conclusion of the investigation, the Silk Road saga continues to make headlines, as it was recently reported that $1 billion in bitcoin connected to the site was recently moved for the first time in years – a signal that the criminals who operate in the darkest corners of the Internet have not gone away.
“Silk Road is a thrilling story with the kind of stranger-than-fiction details that can only come from a true story,” Bixby said. “This movie will keep audiences riveted by its cat-and-mouse game of a criminal mastermind being tracked by a hot-headed narc.”