New Evel Knievel Biopic Will Explore Highs And Lows Of America's Greatest Daredevil
Former stuntman turned actor Ric Roman Waugh has just been given the green light to put together a biopic on famed daredevil Evel Knievel. Based off of Leigh Montville’s The High-Flying Life Of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil and Legend, it’ll follow the motorcycle rider’s entire life from his working class upbringing to the peaks of his stardom and back down to his shaky final years.
On New Year’s Eve 1967, Evel Knievel attempted to jump a motorcycle over the fountain at Caesar’s Palace. He failed, fell into a coma and awoke twenty-seven days later a superstar. Over the next decade and a half, Knievel attempted more jumps for more money, but more than the jumps themselves, he sold the American public on himself. He was an outlaw, the last gladiator in a society increasingly gone soft. By the mid-70s, Robert Craig Knievel was one of the most famous men in the world. He accounted for two of the four highest rated specials in the history of ABC’s Wide World Of Sports, but the broken bones and late nights started to take a toll. He drank, behaved recklessly and eventually lost it all.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Waugh’s history around motorcycles and within the stunt industry should provide a letter of authenticity to the project. The director’s father owned a stunt company in the 1970s, and he grew up in the shadow of Evel Knievel, mesmerized by the showman’s daring exploits.
As of press time, no one has yet been approached for the lead role, but Waugh has expressed interest in finding his lead among Hollywood’s new crop of aggressive, manly men. Right now he’s looking at Tom Hardy and Chris Hemsworth, but whether or not those men prove to be viable options will likely depend on the budget put forward for the movie. We’ll see. Until then, here’s a look at Evel jumping 14 Greyhound buses…
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