Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star as famed stuntman Evel Knievel, in a biopic scripted by Boardwalk Empire‘s Terrence Winter, The Illuminerdi can exclusively confirm.
Back in 2015, Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported on a biopic in the works based on the life of thrillseeker Evel Knievel. In his piece, he revealed that screenwriter and Academy Award winner William Monahan (The Departed) would be scripting the film. All of which we was true.
The Illuminerdi has uncovered that, as of a few weeks ago, this project is still very much in development. The untitled Evel Knievel film still does not have a director in tow, but the movie has found a new screenwriter. Terrence Winter of Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos’ fame has moved into the writer’s seat, as he was previously serving in solely a producing role. His script is still based on the biography Evel Knievel On Tour, authored by Sheldon Saltman.
But wait… It gets even better. We can confirm that Academy Award winner Leonardo Dicaprio is currently in discussions with Paramount Pictures to headline the biopic as Evel Knievel himself.
Why Leonardo Dicaprio Should Take The Jump
Evel Knievel was the definition of a living legend in his time. The stuntman grew to fame by doing increasingly dangerous motorcycle stunts, which typically involved jumping a string of cars. His stunts were successful far less often than you might expect, In fact, audiences came to see him crash as much as to see him land safely, and the stuntman was thought to have sustained well over 400 bone fractures or worse during his infamous career.
Knievel’s later years involved a great deal of physical pain and personal tragedy, all elements that Dicaprio could sink his teeth into. Evel would ultimately became a cultural icon, and his influence can still be seen everywhere from Tom Cruise’s stunt work to Bart jumping the Springfield Gorge in The Simpsons.
Clearly, Leonardo Dicaprio must have a very busy schedule, but it’s worth keeping in mind that this project has been in his orbit for years now. Fingers are crossed that his commitment is based on scheduling and timing solely, because this could something special.
What do you think of Leonardo Dicaprio as Evel Knievel? How about Terrence Winters scripting it? Let us know in the comments or on social media!