Leonardo DiCaprio Reportedly In Talks For Evel Knievel Biopic

Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio is rumored to star in an Evel Knievel biopic, scripted by The Wolf of Wall Street screenwriter Terrance Winter.


Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star in an upcoming Evel Knievel biopic. Known as The Last Gladiator, Knievel’s death-defying jumps have helped to cement a legacy. The stuntman came to be recognized, over time, for increasingly dangerous stunts which often involved jumping off a succession of cars. One of his most famous feats, the historic Snake River Canyon Jump, is set to be the focus of a limited series led by Milo Ventimiglia. It’s one of several attempts at capturing Knievel’s complicated life on-screen.

The famed daredevil has been portrayed by names such as Sam Elliot and George Hamilton. Martin Scorsese was rumored to be directing an Evel Knievel biopic, which would examine the thornier aspects of Knievel’s life. Separately, Darren Aronofsky was floated as a possibility for directing a film that would feature Channing Tatum as Knievel. Although his image has achieved an iconic status, and although there seems to have been a number of projects by Hollywood royalty with the intent to tell Evel’s story, many have stalled out. Now, one of those projects, which was thought to be dormant, is roaring back to life with a huge celebrity rumored to be the lead.


According to The Illuminerdi, Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star in an Evel Knievel biopic. The movie will be scripted by Terence Winter, who wrote the Oscar-nominated adapted screenplay for The Wolf of Wall Street. Winter has also penned episodes of Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos. The biopic, which currently does not have a director, comes from Paramount Pictures.

This particular take on Evel Knievel was first reported in 2015. William Monahan, who won an Oscar for The Departed in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, had been attached to the film as its screenwriter. While that has now changed, with Winter stepping into the role, the biopic will still be based on the book Evel Knievel On Tour by Sheldon Saltman. The choice is an interesting one, considering the tumultuous relationship between Knievel and Saltman. Knievel had attacked Saltman with an aluminum baseball bat, taking offense to what was published in the book for and believing it to be damaging to his image and misleading. The incident, which took place in 1977, and left Saltman unconscious, led to drawn-out legal battles.


Whether that factors into Winter’s script remains to be seen, but DiCaprio is currently up to the task. In so many of his films, DiCaprio has played complex characters and the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood star is certain to bring that same energy and consistency to Evel Knievel if he’s confirmed as the controversial American icon.

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About Alex Zander

Alex Zander resides in Chicago, IL and is the founder and publisher of MK ULTRA Magazine, established 1995. He can also be heard on the MKULTRASOUND PodCast www.soundcloud.com/mkultrasoundpodcast

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