What is Foxcatcher?
Most in the amateur wrestling community would say it’s the much-anticipated film about Olympic wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz. Serious filmgoers now know “Foxcatcher” as a movie that made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May, garnering great reviews, a best director award for Bennett Miller, and considerable Oscar buzz for the film, its director, and its actors.
The two hour, 15-minute film, now scheduled to be released November 14, tells the story of the Schultz brothers – 1984 Olympic gold medalists and collegiate wrestling champs -- and their involvement at the Olympic wrestling training facility run by multimillionaire John du Pont who murdered Dave Schultz in January 1996. “Foxcatcher” stars Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz, Mark Ruffalo as older brother Dave, and Steve Carell in the role of du Pont.
However, the public at large may not realize that “Foxcatcher” takes its name from Foxcatcher Farms, the name du Pont gave to the estate which had been his home his entire life, in Newtown Square, Pa. just outside Philadelphia. In the late 1980s – after the death of his mother -- du Pont turned Foxcatcher Farms into an elite Olympic-level wrestling training facility, home to his Team Foxcatcher.
This writer, who has written about “Foxcatcher” movie for more than two-and-a-half years as College Wrestling Examiner, and long before that, penned a five-part series about Dave Schultz’s murder for InterMat in 2006, only recently learned the fate of the facility known as Foxcatcher Farms.
This month, a good friend, Dennis Damm, a former wrestling coach who encountered du Pont at wrestling events, provided me with research materials including photos that show what’s been happening at Foxcatcher in the past 18 months. With Dennis Damm’s permission, I’ve put together this photo-feature on the fate of Foxcatcher.