Gary Oldman to Produce Silk Road Series for Spike TV

By Shawn Dwyer 09/16/14

The series will chronicle the rise and fall of online drug kingpin Ross Ulbricht, aka Dread Pirate Roberts.

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Oscar-nominated actor Gary Oldman, who has played everyone from Sex Pistols' bassist Sid Vicious to Gotham police chief James Gordon, will serve as executive producer of Deep Web, a new cable drama series that will focus on an ambitious Silicon Valley entrepreneur responsible for creating the online drug marketplace Silk Road.

Founded in 2011, Silk Road was an underground website hailed as the of drugs, where buyers and sellers could deal in illicit drugs like cocaine, LSD, and cocaine in virtual anonymity. Silk Road was operated by someone known only as Dread Pirate Roberts, whose name was taken from Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride.

Roberts, later revealed as Ross William Ulbricht, prided himself on both being anonymous and espousing libertarian ideals while bucking the system. He was arrested in October 2013 on suspicion of drug trafficking, soliciting murder, facilitating computer hacking, and money laundering.

Deep Web will explore Ulbricht's rise and eventual fall courtesy of writer and executive producer Scott Gold, best known for his work on Under the Dome. Goldman and producing partner at Flying Studio, Douglas Urbanski, will executive produce the project.

“In this supremely competitive environment, we are thrilled to be the network to partner with Tony Krantz and filmmakers like Gary and Doug to bring this story to our ever-growing audience,” said Sharon Levy, executive vice president of original series at Spike TV. “This project speaks to the network’s search for wholly distinctive and relevant ideas, ripped from today’s headlines, that reflects our brand’s evolvement.”

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.