Evel Knievel film
The story of the legendary stunt king Evel Knievel is finally coming to the big screen it would seem as a man who was inspired by Knievel to become a stuntman for some twenty years is currently in negotiations to adapt the book The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend by Leigh Montville and direct the film.
Ric Roman Waugh followed his father, himself a well known stuntman, into the business and was inspired by and in awe of Knievel as many of us were through the years of his amazing stunts. The film will look to these big stunts and his private life.
It's a fantastic project to be looking at and could well become a huge film for all concerned, especially if the money does pour in to making the big stunts of Knievel come to life again, and the way he's talking about making those stunts happen is one of the most exciting parts.
Speaking about the film to The Hollywood Reporter, Ric Roman Waugh said that they plan on bringing to life these big stunts with CG limited to only recreating the backdrops of the time, and although it's not mentioned, I would assume the famous crashes themselves, or perhaps pull in re-mastered actual footage from the time to blend in with the recreated stunts, after all they aren't going to recreate a huge stunt and the accident.
Apparently they will be using all sorts of new technology and safety equipment throughout to help them recreate these stunts, but making it all look like it was back in the day. Still, I'm sure there will be some things they won't recreate, perhaps using filming techniques and some CG to make jumps look bigger, or drops further, etc.
Waugh talks of the stunts of the time and what the stuntmen thought of Knievel, and it is a surprise that they are talking about recreating these stunts so well when it would seem they thought he was so crazy.
"We would always say, 'We're not Evel Knievel,'...Meaning that, we all thought he was crazy. But we weren't doing live stunts, so we were always able to cheat an angle. This guy was doing it for Wide World of Sports, and there'd be 100,000 people sitting in a coliseum. This guy was seriously hurt. Physically damaged to the point where he was never 100 percent again. He was always jumping completely maimed and messed up."
However, let's not focus on the stunts, for Waugh is quick to point out that this isn't what the film will solely be about.
"Instead of concerts and songs, you're doing a daredevil guy. But it's less about the stunts and more about an exploration of a man who let nothing stand in the way of his quest for fame and glory - including his own mortality. What I love about Evel Knievel is I get to do an homage to the action world that I come from, but it's more about the relevancy of the price of fame and the life that this guy led. His family suffered for it, he suffered for it physically, and yet he became that iconic person that we all admired. What nobody has ever really captured - and maybe it takes an ex-stuntman to understand this - is the sacrifices he made, and the pain. Everybody's fearless until they get seriously hurt...
...This is my Walk the Line..."
Wow, that is rather stirring and you can totally understand how he sold that pitch.
The article says that Waugh is hoping to get one of the big manly actors going around just now, and mentions names such as Tom Hardy, Chris Hemsworth and Joel Edgerton, all seemingly excellent choices, with Edgerton gaining a little ground as he looks very much like the man himself. It's early though to be talking about casting, but why not? Who would you have play the man?
I do like the idea of a film of Evel Knievel, but when I watched a recent documentary that tried to get close to the man it seemed as though there was a lot he wouldn't talk about and interviews were somewhat forced and staged. He seemed to be carrying more demons, looked a lot sadder than I would have thought, and it seemed as though there was much more of his story to tell. I wonder if this book and film will get to the bottom of him?