According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tatum is in negotiations to star in and executive produce a movie about the legendary daredevil who captured the imagination of a nation in the 1970s with a series of outrageous, bone-crunching motorcycle stunts. Tatum’s production partner, Reid Carolin, will write the screenplay for the as-yet-untitled film. The movie will be produced by Mike DeLuca and Dana Brunetti, who are also producing the “Fifty Shades of Grey” adaptation.
The movie will be based on the 2008 book “Life of Evel” by writer Stuart Barker. Knievel, who died in 2007 at the age of 69, made a name for himself with a series of jaw-dropping motorcycle jumps, including a legendary failed attempt to jump across Wyoming’s Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket called the Skycycle X-2.
In addition to his iconic red, white and blue leather jumpsuits, Knievel also gained fame by earning a Guinness Book of World Records mark by being the survivor of the “most bones broken in a lifetime” (433). Though his 1974 Snake River gag was a failure, Knievel continued to pull off ramp-to-ramp jumps over buses, cars and other motorcycles through the late 1970s, often landing in a heap of broken bones and twisted metal.
Tatum will follow in the footsteps of the supremely tanned George Hamilton, who starred in the 1971 film “Evel Knievel,” as well as Knievel himself, who was the star of the 1977 movie “Viva Knievel!”