Ethan and Joel Cohen will soon be exploring the world of global website and darknet market Silk Road and its founder Ross William Ulbricht. Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison last year after being charged with money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and procuring murder.
Through Silk Road, drugs and other products were sold using Tor Hidden Services and Bitcoin payments. It is thought to have generated $200 million before being shut down in October 2013. Kingpin Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts) founded the site.
The movie, which has been touted since 2013, is based on a two-part Wired magazine article by Joshuah Bearman called The Untold Story of Silk Road. It charts the rise and fall of Ulbricht.
Produced by Fox, the thriller was originally called Silk Road but has since been renamed Dark Web.
The Coen brothers, who will be writing its screenplay, will be taking over from best-selling author Dennis Lehane who was initially down as the film’s writer.
The story was previously described as having similarities to the Coens’ Fargo, with ‘labyrinthine twists.’
The duo have won screenplay Oscars for No Country for Old Men and Fargo.
Recently, the Coen brothers have turned their attention to writing rather than directing (though they did both write and direct Hail, Caesar!), with recent screenplays including Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies and George Clooney's upcoming Suburbicon.