Brad Pitt to Produce A Film About the Hacker Who Exposed the Steubenville Rapists
After winning an Oscar for producing the dark slavery drama 12 Years a Slave, it looks like Brad Pitt has taken a liking to making movies about difficult subjects. It's reported that Pitt's Plan B Entertainment will produce "Anonymous vs. Steubenville," a 2013 Rolling Stone article about a hacker who was jailed for exposing the covered-up rape of a teenage girl.
Published in November, the article reveals the story of Deric Lostutter, a member of the hacker group Anonymous who worked to catch the two high school football players responsible for raping a 16-year-old in Steubenville, Ohio. Lostutter released a video made by the attackers that showed them with the victim, and soon after, his home was raided by the FBI. Lostutter was charged for obtaining social media posts containing details about the rape and threatening the rapists, and is facing over a decade in prison for his actions. Meanwhile, the rapists he worked to catch spent less than one year in jail.
Pitt's film will presumably focus on Lostutter and the hacking rather than the rape itself, but still, a movie about Steubenville, or any sexual assault case, is a major deal. The film will hopefully deal with the rape and its aftermath in a respectful, truthful matter, bringing the already-famous case to the attention of millions more.
While there have been many movies made featuring rape, few, if any, have focused on the media's coverage of sexual assault. As all who followed the Steubenville case know, many people and networks reported despicably on the case, with outlets as reputable as CNN commenting on the rapists' "promising futures" and the pain of watching their lives "fall apart" with their convictions. With "Anonymous vs. Steubenville," the shameful behavior of the media, as well as the vigilante efforts of individuals like Lostutter, will be brought to national attention.
Still, there's reason to be wary. Even Pitt, who's shown that he's capable of turning dark real-life circumstances into compelling film, could falter when trying to adapt "Anonymous vs. Steubenville." As said earlier, there've been plenty of movies featuring rape, but most have kept it as a side plot or "background" to a character, not the central subject matter. As for films about hacking, the majority belong in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, with few dealing with the legal consequences of such an action. "Anonymous vs. Steubenville" is going to have a hard time reaching audiences, but hopefully, with Pitt at the helm, it'll succeed in making them discover the Steubenville story, if they haven't already, and understand why it matters.