Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment this week bought the rights to a Rolling Stone feature, "Anonymous vs. Steubenville," covering the Steubenville rape case, with plans to adapt the piece for the big screen. It's the first new project Plan B have confirmed since their stellar run this past awards season with 12 Years A Slave.
The Steubenville saga involves a 16 year-old girl who was raped by two high school football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, at a party in August, 2012. Other partygoers took disturbing photos and recorded footage of the crime, which were later widely shared across social media. Following mass media coverage, it was soon widely believed that the victim's allegations had been covered up, with "the [Steubenville] community of closing ranks to protect its athletic heroes." Rolling Stone's article covered the efforts of online "vigilantes" to expose the true story, focusing in particular on Deric Lostutter, a member of the Anonymous hacking collective. Lostutter unearthed and publicized many heinous social media updates from the night of the rape and led the "Occupy Steubenville" protest movement. His work "not only brought charges to the rapists, but directly indicted the high school superintendent, the elementary school principal and two high school coaches" . The nature of his hacking, however, also saw the FBI involved — and he now faces a prison sentence for cybercrimes longer than both the Steubenville rapists combined.
With Lostutter cast in a protagonist's role, The Daily Dot notes the film will likely focus not only on the rape case but "on the ethos of Anonymous, as well as the strange legal standards that have landed so many hackers behind bars while violent sex criminals walk free time and again."
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