Hollywood A-list actor Channing Tatum is set to star as famed daredevil Evel Knievel in an upcoming biopic, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Channing Tatum as Evel Knievel
Tatum, who is currently starring in the hit film Magic Mike, is lined up to produce the film along with his Iron Horse Entertainment partner Reid Carolin. The Oscar nominated producing duo of Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti (The Social Network) are also on board. Carolin is slated to write the screenplay.
No director is presently attached to the project, but the Hollywood Reporter did state that the movie will be based on the 2008 book Life of Evel by Stuart Barker. Considered the definitive biography on Knieval, Baker’s book not only examines Knieval the 1970s American icon, but also delves into his propensity for gambling, women and drinking.
New Evel Knieval Biopic
The forthcoming movie marks the second time Knievel’s life has been the subject of a biopic. George Hamilton (Love At First Bite) previously tackled the role in the 1971 film Evel Knieval. The film is primarily told through a series of flashbacks, culminating in a successful jump at the Ontario Motor Speedway in the present day.
Aside from the Hamilton’s portrayal, Knieval played himself in 1977’s Viva Knieval! The movie, which co-starred Gene Kelly (Singin’ in the Rain) and Lauren Hutton (American Gigolo), is a strange and somewhat forgettable mishmash of helping kids at orphanages, performing stunts in Mexico and dealing with his alcoholic mechanic (Kelly).
Although Knieval obviously plays himself, the movie makes no mention of his wife Linda, and instead features Hutton as a photographer/love interest. That said, the movie is a good representation of the immense marketability that Knieval possessed during his heyday.
Evel Knievel In Real Life
Born in Butte, Montana, Robert Craig Knieval was a daredevil and one of the greatest American icons of the 1970s. Knieval attempted more than 75 motorcycle jumps from 1965 to 1980. He is also remembered for his failed jump across Snake River Canyon in 1974, in which he rode in a Skycycle X-2 rocket. Nicknamed “The Last Gladiator,” Knieval is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “survivor of the most broken bones” with 433. Knieval was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
Knieval rode various bikes throughout his career, beginning with the Honda 350cc, which he used during his first known jump in 1965. Knieval would go on to use a Norton 750cc for the next two years, until turning to the Triumph T120. In 1969, Knieval opted for the Laverda American Eagle 750cc motorcycle. One year later Knieval switched to the Harley-Davidson XR-750, which he is best remembered for riding.