Last year’s GamerGate kerfuffle may be heading to the big screen and Scarlett Johansson may star as its central figure.
Zoe Quinn found herself the unwilling center of controversy last year when an ex-boyfriend went online and alleged that the game designer had slept with video game journalists in order to get positive reviews for her work. This unleashed a torrent of cyber abuse towards Quinn and other women in the video game business. Quinn fought back against a small group of gamers she felt responsible for the attacks. As she explains in the proposal for the book Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself, which will serve as the basis for the film –
Gaming and internet message boards used to be niche interests, mostly for young men. In the past few years, however, they’ve gone mainstream. Millions of people — including women and other marginalized people — have taken an interest in the platforms, image boards, and discussion forums that once belonged by default to a much smaller population. Most gamers give zero fu*ks about this. Like the rest of us, they’re just here to play games. But a vocal minority are clinging onto the brand of Cheetos-and-Mountain-Dew exclusionary identity ‘hardcore gamer,’ muttering ‘fu*kin casuals’ under their breath.
Pascal Pictures, the production shingle set up by former Sony president Amy Pascal, won the bidding war for the rights Quinn’s memoir, which is set to be published next September. Reportedly, Scarlett Johansson is interested in starring as Quinn. Writers Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum are set to work on the screenplay.
Both Pascal and Johansson have had their own negative experiences online. Pascal was in charge of Sony last year when the studio’s computer system underwent its infamous hack which ultimately led to her dismissal. In 2012, Johansson was one of a number of Hollywood actresses whose emails were hacked, leading to the release of private photos. That hacker is currently serving ten years behind bars in federal prison.