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Channing Tatum Takes The Leap To Be Evel Knievel!!

The Kidd here...

How quickly things change once you get a couple of good performances under your belt? Months ago, I wouldn't have been all that interested in finding out what film Channing Tatum might be doing next, and when I did find out, i would have been skeptical as to whether it could have possibly been any good or not. Now with 21 JUMP STREET and MAGIC MIKE in the rear view, Tatum's got some momentum, so when potential projects for him start springing up, I'm more inclined to believe that he can handle them.

That's why I'm quite intrigued by the idea of Tatum playing Evel Knievel in a biopic about the daredevil based on Stuart Barker's 2008 book Life of Evel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tatum would also executive-produce the film under his Iron Horse Entertainment banner for Columbia Pictures, with his partner Reid Carolin taking on the writing duties. 

Barker's book takes a look at the last few years of his life leading up to Knievel's death in 2007, while also examining his career and the variety of stunts he attempted to pull of. 


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 11, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by MonkeyFunker

    ...and burn. I REALLY hope he does his own stunts on this

  • July 11, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    "Yes Channing...

    by MonkeyFunker

    of course jumping over 25 double-decker buses is safe... what? no, you won't need that helmet, pass it over. Now off you go, there's a good fellow"

  • July 11, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by gruntybear

    What? It's an accurate descriptor in this case.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Fingers crossed for Lindelof to get the rewrite gig

    by Domi'sInnerChild

  • July 11, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Kids are going to think it's live action Kick Buttowski

    by Domi'sInnerChild

  • July 11, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by MonkeyFunker

    I'm just under 40 and those things were amazing. We used to set it up so the bike (and rider 50% of the time) would launch out of the 2 floor window. My Dad caught us doing this once (he was the once who paid for it) and asked why, to which we answered "well, doesn't he always fall off or crash and hurt himself?" tho which he answered "fair enough, carry on". I'm not sure how much those things are going for on ebay these days but we fucked up three of them this way, happy memories.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I don't hate the guy, he's probably pretty cool in real life BUT

    by MJDeViant

    I just don't see the appeal. Granted, I haven't seen Magic Mike, maybe he acts better there, but even in 21 Jump Street he didn't have to do much IMO. He was okay in it but I didn't feel like that was a stretch. I probably won't see Magic Mike because it looks as unappealing as Footloose or anything else of that nature (not saying they aren't good, just not something I'm seeking out). I'm not sure how many people will be interested in Evel. I don't even find the act of jumping things that exciting. Stunt people would be more interesting (and there are movies already). Good luck to him though and hopefully he catches up with whatever appeal he has for some reason right now.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Evel Knievel cures a crippled kid with one of his action toys:

    by No Respectable Gentleman Hopefully Channing doesn't miss this one.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I met Evel Knievel on four occasions.

    by shran

    3 of them in the same bar in my town he liked to frequent. Not a very approachable guy. Kind of a jerk. But after a while he would flip you shit and that meant he thought you were OK. The fourth time I was working for a carpet cleaning company and he called to have his touring RV cleaned. He was nicer that time but you could tell that he was in a lot of pain. He didn't remember me again but he did recall hanging out at that bar and so I guess I was legit enough. He gave me a picture and a hat because he liked the job I did and showed me some of the memorabilia that he took around to motorcycle shops that he did tour stops at. When I was a kid I also had a few of those Evel Knievel stunt bike sets. Just about the funnest toy ever invented. In the 70's Evel Knievel was just about every boys' action hero. Those ABC Wide World of Sports jumps were epic.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    What "good performances" are making Chum Taters here a star?

    by Drath

    He's still the anti-star to me. It is a twisted fucked up world that thinks he was a good thing to GI Joe or that this guy has any charisma at all to be a leading man. Better actors are on TV, makes no sense for this guy to get these opportunities. He's not worth it.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Do you guys write all your stuff on an iPhone?

    by Unscripted

    Cuz if you don't, the sheer number of typoes you make (it's "off" not "of" up there) is mystifying. You ARE getting paid to write; how about some standards? BTW, nothing Channing "This is me doing a block of wood" Taters can do will top the outstanding ending of the original Evel K. flick.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    People don't have to be familiar with Evel. It just has to be a good movie.

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    How many people were familiar with Indiana Jones before Raiders came out? Or how many people were familiar with ANY movie character before the movie came out? And, yes, I realize this is based on an actual person but that really doesn't matter. Just make it entertaining with a compelling trailer and people will see it for that reason.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    But... Knievel was a skinny guy

    by Triple_J_72

  • July 11, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Does Channing look like Evel Knievel or is that not an issue?

    by Mr. Pricklepants

  • July 11, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Isn't there already a TV movie based on his life?

    by jellypop

    Not sure this will pull the crowds in. Oh well.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Knievel was a hick, needs someone more hick-like

    by MooseMalloy

  • July 11, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST

    @ shran ~ great story!

    by billF

    I was a huge fan of Evel back in the 70s and went through many stunt cycles myself.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    geeeezzz. Same agent as Sam Worthington?

    by pintoman

    First it was worthington showing up in it's Tatum. Do they just throw the actors out there waiting for some franchise to stick?

  • fucker never worked like it did in the adverts but I'm gucked if I didn't love that thing. Evel Kneivel did a jump over here at Wembley stadium in front of 100,000 people. He brought the wrong bike for the stunt he was supposed to perform, but didn't want to disappoint, so jumped the buses anyway. He crashed on landing and nearly killed himself...again. Crazy bastard. I always thought Matthew McConaughey would make a good Evel Kneivel.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

    omg i STILL have that stunt toy and it STILL works.

    by Arcadian Del Sol


  • July 11, 2012, 4:32 p.m. CST


    by shran

    Being from the NW (Evel was from Montana) I couldn't help but feel a little proud of him. And in the 70's he was bigger than Elvis or the Beatles or just about anything else. When I first met him he had just undergone a liver transplant and was back in the bars drinking. I think he was trying to medicate himself. Even as broken down and tired as he was I was still star-struck. It was definitely a situation where I was in the presence of a person I idolized as a kid. When I was young, like many other boys at the time, we could not get enough of Knievel and his exploits. Those stunt bike toys were ridiculous fun to play with. The crashes were the best part. We would set up the jumps just to fail and then see what kind of twisted nightmare the Evel Knievel figure would be in. I seem to recall having three of them.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    perfect guy for it would be Josh Holloway

    by chien_sale

    directed by Michael Mann

  • July 11, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Scraped knuckles!

    by shran

    Who else had horribly scraped knuckles from winding up that base thing so the bike would go? I spent the whole summer with bandaged knuckles on my right hand.

  • July 11, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Viva Knievel

    by Kevin

    Starred George Hamilton(!)

  • July 11, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    this NEEDS Bruce Campbell

    by theonecalledshoe

    granted he may be old but he'd be a good fit.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Viva Knievel...

    by Terry Powell

    ,,,actually starred Knieval, Hamilton played him in the Biopic Evel Knievel.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Sam Rockwell for Evel

    by DonLogan

    in a Boogie Nights/Goodfellas style biopic. Warts n all. That's what I'd rather see.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    This will be the Anti-G.I. Joe movie...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Whereby the movie will be delayed for nine months due to having to remove Tatum from each scene.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Evel Knieval psychotic god among men.

    by Mark

    The toy was crazy badass and Evel was even badder. Couldnt give a crap about the movies but i sure do remember Evel and the toy.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    When did Hollywood jump on Tatum's dick?

    by bigjeffrey

    I don't get it? I thought Soderbergh was being weird when he put him in Haywire, kind of like when that guy had that bet he could make Steve Seagal a movie star. I watched 21 Jump St the other night expecting him to be great after the reviews but....nope....still don't get it. The guys got dead eyes and looks like a high school quarterback with an $7 haircut. This is Sam Worthington all over again!

  • And blocks of wood have no place in acting.

  • July 11, 2012, 11:45 p.m. CST

    He was a dick.

    by BarCrow

    Met him at a bar he frequented off and on. He was a lecherous ass and a huge bag of dicks.

  • July 11, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Evel Knievel was a dick...not Tatum Channing .

    by BarCrow

    I feasibly could have met them both based on where I lived ..where Evel hung out and where Tatum danced before his Hollywood days.

  • July 12, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    He's a great actor

    by BeMoreFunny

    He's very natural, doesn't give a shit, seems spontaneous and realistic. He creates whole characters, which few actors as young as him can do--he might be the best under 40 actor in Hollywood already. Not to mention, he almost literally makes women have orgasms just by looking at him. It's time to accept that Channing Tatum is going to be the biggest movie star of his generation (whatever that means), right alongside Ryan Gosling. I personally find Tatum more entertaining to watch and enjoy his films more.

  • July 12, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST

    @moore12 Are you kidding me?!

    by Troy McNamara

    Channing Tatum is the next big thing in Hollywood, whether you like it or not. To be fair, his acting in a lot of his early work was really weak but he's been one of those actors that has been continuously improving throughout the years simply because he's one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. There hasn't been a single year in the seven years that he's been working as an actor in film and TV where he hasn't appeared or starred in something. Since every other girl or woman on the planet loves and obsesses him, he's had them for his whole career but with his stellar or spectacular performances in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, The Dilemma, 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike, he's also managed to turn guys into fans of his acting as well including myself. I even thought his performance in The Vow was valid given what he had and he played a real, down-to-earth dude who just loved his wife with every bit of earnestness that he had. If he continues on the right path and finally does that risky role like Brad Pitt, Heath Ledger, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Johnny Depp or any other "pretty boy" before him and succeeds, he'll be one of those people that you might think about when it comes to him playing a role like Batman or something. Again, I'm not saying he's there yet but he's getting there.

  • Maybe a small supporting role? Nothing memorable. I feel neither positive nor negative whenever I hear about a new movie with him in it. >_<

  • July 12, 2012, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Channing Tatum is the new Keanu Reeves

    by SunTzu77

  • July 12, 2012, 2:43 a.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    Someone give a role to a guy that actually has acting range... Ben Foster for example.

  • July 12, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST


    by Skankardly

  • July 12, 2012, 6:11 a.m. CST

    @papabendi - I second that Matthew McConaughey idea.

    by Skankardly

  • July 12, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST

    The last few years leading up to his death

    by aegri_mentis

    How is Tatum going to play a 50+ year old?

  • July 12, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST


    by bill

    Broken Ass!

  • July 12, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by SunTzu77

    Maybe, they'll recycle Guy Pearce's Prometheus make-up?