While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has emerged as the world champion when it comes to professional wrestlers becoming actors and multimedia superstars, another wrestling icon attempted to carve out a mainstream niche in Hollywood long before Johnson had even won his first WWE title. That man was Hulk Hogan, arguably the most famous wrestler in history prior to The Rock’s meteoric rise through entertainment.
Unfortunately for the Hulkster, Hogan never really saw his acting career take off, leading him to continuously run back to the world of big boots and leg drops. Hogan has starred in multiple films, so it’s not like his career outside wrestling has been a total loss, but he just never managed to find widespread acceptance in that realm the way Johnson has.
In more recent years though, Hogan became far more well-known to many for questionable actions he’s taken part in outside the ring than his years of battling bad guys inside it. In 2012, a sex tape featuring Hogan and the wife of a friend emerged online, with an excerpt of the tape being widely publicized by the gossip website Gawker. Hogan eventually took Gawker to court, but it turned out their was much more to the case than met the eye. A new Netflix documentary called Nobody Speak shines a light on what went down during the legal battle, as well as on other instances of billionaires seemingly trying to curtail freedom of the press. Check out the full trailer for it above.
The legal fight between Hulk Hogan and Gawker ended up being quite the nasty affair, although as the Nobody Speak documentary examines things apparently weren’t quite as simple as Hogan wanting to get back at a company he felt had done him wrong. Hogan’s legal defense was eventually revealed to have been bank-rolled by Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, who had a long-standing beef with Gawker, and seemed to be merely using Hogan’s lawsuit as a way to try and silence his enemy. In the end, Hogan was awarded $115 million in damages, and Gawker went out of business.
Netflix has developed a pretty good track record when it comes to original documentaries, so there’s a good chance Nobody Speak will serve as an enlightening window into such events as the Hogan/Gawker case or the purchase of a Las Vegas newspaper by a billionaire the publication had often been critical of in the past. Still, based on the amount of Donald Trump in the trailer above, the documentary definitely appears to have a clear political stance, so one’s appreciation of it may very well be affected by where they fall on the political spectrum.
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press debuts on Netflix on June 23.