×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Modern Family’ Director Jason Winer to Helm John Gary Spec ‘Gawker v. Thiel’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jason Winer has attached himself to the John Gary penned spec, “Gawker v. Thiel,” which centers on the fall of the controversial media company and the man that helped bring it down.

Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are producing the film and are in the process of setting up financing for the project. Mark Nicholson, who runs development and production for Zadan/Meron Productions, will executive produce as well.

Zadan and Meron previously produced Oscar-winning best picture “Chicago.” Their other motion pictures include “Hairspray,” “The Bucket List,” and “Footloose”. Most recently, Zadan and Meron sold a new original musical fantasy based off of the characters of Hans Christian Andersen to Fox 2000 in a substantial seven-figure deal.

While the title suggests that this will be a courtroom drama, sources close to the material said the famous court case case involving Gawker and pro wrestling icon Terry Gene Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, who sued the company after it leaked a sex tape without his permission, will not be at the forefront of the film. Instead, the movie will focus on the important individuals behind the scenes, including Nick Denton, owner of Gawker Media; A.J. Daulerio, the editor who published the tape; and billionaire Peter Thiel, who secretly helped finance the Hogan defense in hopes to ensure a victory for the plaintiff as well as examine first amendment rights in the digital age.

Hogan sought $100 million in damages and the jury ended up awarding him $115 million and $25 million in punitive damages, a verdict that would lead to the company filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Thiel, a venture capitalist, would later admit in a New York Times article that he spent $10 million to finance several lawsuits against Gawker including Hogan’s. Thiel’s reason behind the financing had to do with a 2007 article where Gawker publicly outed him.

Sources close to the spec said Gary sourced 23 different people in researching the story in order to get the most accurate depiction of what happened behind the scenes.

Though Winer is known for his work producing and directing episodes on hit TV shows like “Modern Family” and “Life in Pieces,” he has been active on the film scene. He recently wrapped the drama, “Ode to Joy,” which stars Martin Freeman, Morena Baccarin, Jake Lacy, Melissa Rauch, and Jane Curtin and was written by Max Werner.

Gary has a handful of projects in development including “Sarah” and the Paramount film “Off-World.”

Winer, Gary and Meron and Zadan are all repped by ICM Partners. Gary is also repped by The Gotham Group.

More Film

  • Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry

    Watch: Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry ‘Song Without a Name’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — Peru’s La Vida Misma and Paris-based sales agent Luxbox have dropped the first trailer and poster of Melina Leon’s “Canción sin nombre” (“Song Without a Name”), selected this week for the Cannes Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. Written by Leon and Michael J. White, “Song Without a Name” sums up some of ambitions and focus [...]

  • 'Aladdin,' 'Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,' 'Shaft' Set

    'Aladdin,' 'Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,' 'Shaft' Set for China Debuts

    Disney’s new live-action “Aladdin” will release in China on May 24, day-and-date with North America, giving the studio a run of three films in Chinese theaters as many months.  Two other Hollywood titles will also hit the big screen in the Middle Kingdom in the coming months: “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” on May 10 and the [...]

  • Patrimonio

    Film Review: 'Patrimonio'

    Though it never really went away on much of the globe, a sort of creeping feudalism is making such a striking comeback — with the ever-more-fabulously-rich squeezing the poor of every dime and resource — that Lisa F. Jackson and Sarah Teale’s documentary “Patrimonio” feels like a frightening portent. Will such crude appropriations of land [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Fan Bingbing Starts to Re-Emerge Months After Tax Scandal

    Half a year after she was found guilty of tax fraud and disappeared from the public eye, Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing has begun to signal her comeback, attending a gala event and launching her own beauty product on social media this week. The 37-year-old actress unexpectedly hit the red carpet in Beijing on Monday at [...]

  • I Trapped the Devil

    Film Review: 'I Trapped the Devil'

    “I Trapped the Devil” sounds like the title of a sermon or gospel song, but it’s a very literal-minded statement coming from the mouth of a leading character in writer-director Josh Lobo’s debut feature. This being a horror film, there’s a chance he’s even literally correct, rather than simply mad. A mixed-bag frightfest, IFC’s limited [...]

  • American Factory

    Tribeca Film Review: 'American Factory'

    When the last truck rolled off the assembly line of the General Motors factory outside Dayton, Ohio, filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert were there to film it, documenting the end of a certain American dream, along with the unemployment of more than 2,000 people — down from 6,000 in more prosperous times. That was [...]

  • Sony Pictures logo

    Sony Pictures Profits Rise to $489 Million but Music Profits Tumble

    Profits at Sony Pictures rose to $489 million for the financial year running to the end of March 2019. That compares with $376 million in the previous financial year. The pictures division result was achieved despite a fall in revenue. That dropped from $9.13 billion in the preceding financial year to $8.87 billion in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content