After years spent on the sidelines while creative thinkers tried to hatch a compelling script based on the legendary stuntman and daredevil, it would appear that Hollywood has taken a shine to Evel Knievel.
As reported by Deadline, Paramount has now entered the fray to assemble a crack team for a new live-action feature, and the studio has recruited Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan for the gig. Not only that, but Monahan may have a chance to reunite with his collaborator from The Departed, with the outlet revealing that Martin Scorsese is now being courted to direct.
Not to be confused with Sony’s biopic of Robert “Evel” Knievel – one which has attracted the attention of Channing Tatum and The Wrestler’s Darren Aronofsky – Paramount’s feature is designed to chart the rise and rise of the titular daredevil, who become something of a household name during the 70s after performing a series of death-defying motorcycle stunts. Taking cues from Sheldon Saltman’s controversial novel Evel Knievel On Tour, only Monahan has been secured for the project at the time of writing, with Scorsese understood to be monitoring the screenplay as it progresses.
Should the remaining pieces fall into place – Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role? – Monahan’s rendition of Evel Knievel would be the first feature film based on the late, great showman in some time. In fact, you’d have to venture as far back as Viva Knievel! to locate the last bona fide movie to be based on the stuntman’s decorated career, which even featured Knievel himself in the saddle.
For years, Robert Evel Knievel enthralled fans with his sheer enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries – and himself – to new limits. With the right talent in place, his tale ought to make for compelling entertainment, though we’ll hedge our bets until Scorsese either commits or opts to pass on the biopic.