'Silk Road': Lionsgate Picks Up Crime Thriller For 2021 Release

Lionsgate has scooped up crime thriller Silk Road and plans to release it in February of 2021. Directed by Tiller Russell, the pic stars Jason Clarke, Nick Robinson, Alexandra Shipp, Jimmi Simpson, Katie Aselton, Lexi Rabe, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Daniel Stewart, and Paul Walter Hauser, and follows the creation of a dark web website that sells narcotics. It's based on a true story, as chronicled in David Kushner's Rolling Stone essay "Dead End on Silk Road: Internet Crime Kingpin Ross Ulbricht's Big Fall."

Lionsgate wants you to take a trip down Silk Road, a new crime thriller they plan on releasing on February 19, 2021 in theaters, on digital, and on video on demand. Here's a synopsis:

Based on larger-than-life true events, Silk Road focuses on the young, affluent, and highly motivated entrepreneur Ross Ulbricht (Nick 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 (Jason 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's growing paranoia driving unthinkable choices, they cling to their jobs in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse that have both men asking how far their idealism can take them.

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.

The story comes from David Kushner's Rolling Stone article "Dead End On Silk Road," which you can read here. The film was written and directed by Tiller Russell, who also directed the excellent documentary The Seven Five, about a group of dirty cops working in New York City in the 1980s. Silk Road 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 Lauren Bixby, vice president of acquisitions for Lionsgate.

"Silk Road is a thrilling story with the kind of stranger-than-fiction details that can only come from a true story," said Bixby. "This movie will keep audiences riveted by its cat and mouse game of a criminal mastermind being tracked by a hot-headed narc."