It would appear that any scandal or controversy that emerges in modern times has a ‘gate’ suffix slapped on the end of it. From Climategate to Rathergate – the latter of which underpins Robert Redford’s Oscar hopeful Truth – each title apes the political storm that surrounded the Watergate scandal of the late 1970s. Hyperbolic though they may be, such monikers in no way undermine the pertinent issues that each controversy unearths, and that’s of particular importance when it comes to 2014’s Gamergate.
Rearing its ugly head in the video game industry, the parade itself was a warped harassment campaign against a number of women in the medium, including developers, writers and voice actresses. Promoting sexism out of turn, Gamergate was effectively stirred by a lynch-mob, one who erroneously banged the drum for such archaic views across the echo chambers of 4Chan, Twitter and Reddit, despite claiming to be on the hunt for journalistic corruption. This all came to head when Brianna Wu, cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian and Zoë Quinn became the subjects of abuse, and it’s the latter’s yet-to-be-published memoir, Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself, that will take the entire scandal onto the silver screen.
Deadline has the scoop, citing that numerous movie and TV studios were chomping at the bit in order to land the rights of Quinn’s piece. In the end, it was Amy Pascal who nailed the gig, and will produce a Gamergate movie through her Pascal Pictures banner.
Centering around Quinn’s own personal plight, the film has reportedly attracted the attention of Scarlett Johansson for the lead part, which will track her development of the game Depression Quest and the barrage of abuse that was soon directed in her way. Penning a spiteful blog post, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend had accused her of sleeping with video game journalists in exchange for good reviews, which acted as the first domino in a long chain of trolling and genuinely, dangerous threats.
Gamergate is to be penned by relative newcomers Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum. Now that Pascal is involved, it’s expected that Sony will pick up the project once momentum starts to build – and securing Scarlett Johansson in the lead part is certainly a good place to start.