New Netflix Documentary Explores The Real Story Behind 'Foxcatcher'
Filmmaker Jon Greenhalgh's Team Foxcatcher will debut on Netflix on April 29. The documentary explores the true story of wealthy heir John du Pont, who murdered Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz in 1996.
As an heir to the du Pont family fortune, John du Pont was a billionaire who had enjoyed wealth his entire life. He founded a state-of-the-art wrestling facility in the 1980s at Foxcatcher Farm in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, so named for his father's stable. Many athletes came there to train, including brothers Mark and Dave Schultz, who both came to live and work on the property. Both were Olympic wrestlers, winning the gold medal in their respective weight classes for freestyle wrestling in 1984.
Over time, du Pont grew increasingly paranoid and his behavior more and more bizarre. According to LA Weekly, he would do things like intentionally burn down a structure on his property, hunt deer with a machine gun, and twice drove his car into a pond. Most people seemed to turn a blind eye to his actions, largely because of his wealth. It all came to a head in January of 1996, when he fatally shot and killed Dave Schultz in front of Dave's wife, Nancy, and du Pont's head of security. Du Pont then locked himself in his mansion for two days until the police shut off his power.
He was convicted of third degree murder in 1997, and died in prison in 2010 at age 72.
The 2014 Bennett Miller film Foxcatcher stars Steve Carell as du Pont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave and Channing Tatum as Mark. Carell was nominated for an Oscar for his creepy portrayal of du Pont, but lost to Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.