Get This Man a Motorcycle: Channing Tatum to Play Evel Knievel in New Movie

What's more daring than playing a stripper? How about playing an actual daredevil? Hot off the success of Magic Mike, Channing Tatum, 32, is in negotiations to produce and star in a film about Evel Knievel. And you know he'll look cute in a star-spangled jumpsuit!

Evel Knievel (born Robert Craig Knievel) was known for his death-defying motorcycle jumps. His career as "America's Legendary Daredevil" lasted from the mid-sixties to the late seventies, during which time he broke around 40 bones and became a household name. His stunts were always impressive, even when they weren't successful.

On New Year's Day in 1968, Knievel managed to leap over the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace, but crashed and ended up in a coma for a month. In 1974, he attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a custom-made rocket cycle, but was thwarted by a parachute malfunction. The following year, he broke his pelvis after clearing 13 buses on his motorcycle in London's Wembley Stadium. (See the clip below.) Basically, he was a reality star before reality TV -- so it's a timely project for Tatum to take on!
 



The real Knievel died in 2007 at age 69, and was still bragging about his escapades in his final interview.

"Those extreme-sports kids today are good but they have it easy," the stuntman told Vanity Fair just months before his death. "Try falling off of a motorcycle going 70 or 80 miles per hour on asphalt. Believe me, nothing equals it. That damn asphalt bites back, just massacring your body. It just shreds your flesh and shatters your bones."

Think Chan will do his own stunts?

Playing Evel Knievel seems to play into Channing Tatum's current obsession: characters based on real-life people. Magic Mike was based on Tatum's own experiences as an amateur stripper, and he's about to shoot the true crime film Foxcatcher, in which he plays Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz. Should we look for Channing to appear in that long-rumored Whitney Houston biopic? Maybe he can play Kevin Costner...

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