Hulkamania is going to run wild.
Chris Hemsworth is set to portray wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan in a biopic that reunites Todd Phillips with Scott Silver, the respective director and writer of the upcoming DC Comics movie The Joker. John Pollono (Stronger) will co-write the script with Silver.
Deals for the Hogan project are in the midst of closing with Netflix. Producing will be Michael Sugar, the Academy Award winner behind Spotlight, who will produce via his Netflix-based Sugar23, and Phillips and Bradley Cooper, who will produce via their banner Joint Effort. Also producing will be Hemsworth and Eric Bischoff.
One of the biggest names in wrestling of all time, Hogan was a fixture on TV sets in 1980s America as part of the World Wrestling Federation who subsequently parlayed his championships-winning leg drops and star power into forays into movies and television, endorsements and video games.
Born Terry Gene Bollea, Hogan began his career in the late 1970s in the Florida wrestling circuit, and when he started in the WWF, he frequently squared off against Andre the Giant as a villainous fighter. When Vince McMahon took over the company and began expanding it into a national presence, Hogan was its face and by then a hero persona. By the end of the ’80s, he was one of the Me Decade’s key personalities, gracing magazine covers, appearing on nightly talk shows and even headlining a Saturday morning cartoon.
In the 21st century, however, Hogan’s fortunes were see-sawing as personal conflicts overtook those inside the ring. Most notably, he was embroiled in a sex tape scandal, with the wife of a friend and radio personality, including a years-long lawsuit that precipitated the end of Gawker and led to Hogan receiving tens of millions of dollars in a settlement.
The biopic will not delve into those years or attempt to encompass Hogan’s entire life. Instead, sources say it will focus on his rise and is described as an origin story of the Hulkster and Hulkamania.
The deal, which took months to put together, will include life rights, with Bollea acting as a consultant on the movie as well as executive producer. Also exec producing will be Sugar23’s Ashley Zalta.
Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman will co-produce the project, which is in its early stages.