The movie is still in its planning stages, but Channing Tatum is slated to star in the Knievel film, as well as co-produce it.
Evel was known for is daredevil stunts and captivating performances. His exploits on a motorcycle stunned and enthralled his audiences across the country in the 1970’s. The name Evel Knievel became the equivalent for danger and nerve.
Though the Knievel biopic is only in negotiation, we can still speculate what kinds of things the film will cover. It’s safe to assume that his most unforgettable exploits will be reenacted on-screen.
According to Evel’s official website, Knievel was very good at self-promotion, and combined with his perseverance and nearly-mad bravery, this is what helped him build his legacy. One of his early, yet memorable stunts, only happened because Evel was resourceful and refused to give up.
After visiting Las Vegas for a boxing match, Knievel decided that he wanted to jump the fountains at Caesars Palace. After creating a fictitious company and hiring three fake lawyers, Knievel was able to secure a meeting with the CEO of Caesars Palace. In addition to these deceptions, Evel also called the CEO pretending to be from Sports Illustrated and ABC-TV and asked about the stunt. The CEO agreed to let Knievel do the stunt and Evel had it filmed with his wife manning the camera. Evel ended up making the jump, but the landing was disastrous, resulting in multiple broken bones and Knievel being in a coma for 29 days. ABC-TV ended up airing the jump and Evel was paid for the footage.
This wasn’t the only crash that Knievel had, but he didn’t let that stop him from performing stunts. Evel continued to do bigger and bigger jumps, despite breaking several bones in his body. Knievel broke his back after his infamous Wembley Jump, and despite his injury, announced to the crowd that he was retiring and would no longer be doing jumps. Eventually though, Evel ended up going back to jumping and completed a few more daring feats before actually retiring.
When Knievel did officially retire, it was after a failed jump over a pit of sharks. Evel got the idea from the movie Jaws. However, while practicing the day before the actual jump, an accident occurred and a camera man lost an eye. Knievel felt so bad for the permanent injury he caused that he cancelled the jump and never performed a large-scale stunt again.
Considering the career that Knievel had, a movie about his life is sure to be full of thrills and excitement. Hopefully, the Noah director will be able to make a film that’s up to par with the legacy that Evel Knievel left behind.
[Photo Courtesy of David Ashdown/Getty Images]