Evel Knievel Biopic Moves Forward With ‘The Departed’ Writer William Monahan
While Sony continues struggling to get their Evel Knievel movie off the ground, Paramount is developing their own biopic about the life of the famed daredevil with The Departed scribe William Monahan on board to write the screenplay. And with Monahan scripting the project, the studio is reportedly hoping to get Martin Scorsese to re-team with the writer for the film, which is based on a book that caused a little bit of a fuss.
Deadline reports that Paramount has set Monahan to deliver a screenplay based on Sheldon Saltman’s book Evel Knievel on Tour, with the hopes that they can lure Scorsese in to direct. Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf of Wall Street) is producing the project, which follows Knievel’s life on the road and his failed Snake River Jump. Although the legendary daredevil gave the author his full cooperation for the book, the narrative contents angered Knievel so much that he attacked Saltman with a baseball bat on the Fox lot for portraying him in such an unflattering (albeit honest) light.
Knievel’s image was hurt by the incident, which resulted in legal and financial complications.
Paramount has extended their deal with Scorsese through 2019, and in addition to his upcoming passion project Silence, the director is developing The Devil in the White City with Leonardo DiCaprio, the long-gestating crime drama The Irishman, and a potential biopic on famed composer / conductor Leonard Bernstein from Spotlight screenwriter Josh Singer.
Four years isn’t a lot of time to squeeze in three projects, though it remains unclear which film Scorsese plans on tackling next, though Monahan did help Scorsese finally win an Oscar with their collaboration on The Departed.
The report also provides an update on Sony’s project, noting that director Darren Aronofsky dropped out to pursue an untitled film with Jennifer Lawrence, while Channing Tatum remains rumored for the lead role — as he has been since 2012.