With three box office hits to his name in 2012, Channing Tatum is in the driver’s seat. So, it’s fitting that one role he’s pursuing, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is legendary daredevil Evel Knievel.
Knievel was a pop culture icon in the 1970s, becoming a fixture on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports” for jumping over cars, canyons, fountains, and generally doing anything to give parents pause. He inspired toys, TV specials, and even a movie (“Viva Knievel!”). Not bad for a guy who started off as a thug in Butte, Montana
As for the details of the Columbia Pictures biopic:
…Tatum will produce with his Iron Horse Entertainment partner Reid Carolin, who will also write the screenplay. [Note: Carolin wrote "Magic Mike."] Also on board to produce is one of the town’s hottest producing teams in Mike DeLuca and Dana Brunetti, who just landed the hotly contested “Fifty Shades of Grey” producing gig for Universal Pictures and Focus Features.
The movie is based on Stuart Baker’s 2008 book, “Life of Evel.” I haven’t read that, but I devoured Leigh Montville’s magnificent biography. That book portrayed Knievel as a man whose fame enhanced his worst qualities and who couldn’t sustain his luxurious, beholden-to-no-one lifestyle. It was a turbulent life, one that’s ideal for the big screen.
Whether Tatum can tackle that role remains to be seen. But what’s a movie about Evel Knievel without a little risk, right?