A&E IndieFilms, BBC and Vice Partner on Illegal-Drugs Doc 'The Dread Pirate Roberts'

Ross Ulbricht Courtroom Sketch - H 2014
AP Images

Ross Ulbricht Courtroom Sketch - H 2014

The movie will focus on illegal-drugs website Silk Road

A&E IndieFilms and BBC Storyville have partnered with Vice Media's film division and U.K. production company Raw to make a documentary about online illegal-drug marketplace Silk Road.

The film is currently titled The Dread Pirate Roberts, after the online pseudonym of the site's founder. The doc will trace the rise and fall of Silk Road and the man believed to be behind the site, Ross Ulbricht, who is currently awaiting trial on conspiracy and money laundering charges.

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Emily James is set to direct the doc, with Vice's Al Brown and Raw's Dimitri Doganis producing.

The doc will be told by those who set up and used Silk Road, exploring how the idea of creating a marketplace free from government interference ran up against the reality of running an underground drug empire.

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The film will also explore how law enforcement tracked down and unmasked "Dread Pirate Roberts," ending with the arrest of Ulbricht, a physics graduate from Austin, who's accused of being the mastermind behind a billion-dollar drug business.

Executive producers include Kevin Sutcliffe for Vice and Louise Norman for Raw, Molly Thompson, Bob DeBitetto and David McKillop for A&E IndieFilms, and Nick Fraser and Kate Townsend for BBC Storyville.

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