Sources have confirmed that the latest feature to be added to Ron Howard and Brian Grazer‘s hefty development slate is centered around the world of skateboarding. The currently UNTITLED SKATEBOARDING PROJECT will be produced by Howard and Grazer through their Imagine Entertainment. Anna Culp will serve as the production executive for Imagine, while Chloe Yellin will oversee for Universal.
While details of the story are being kept under wraps, we’re hearing that it’s being pitched as 8 Mile meets Lords of Dogtown. The film will focus on a teenager who uses a love of skating to escape the urban blight of the surrounding community.
The skateboarding project feels like a distant cousin to Imagine’s upcoming Low Riders, which looks at the lives of enthusiasts of the re-emerging ‘low rider’ culture in Southern California. While Low Riders hopes to capture some of the Fast and Furious franchise audience, like the skateboarding project it delves into a niche culture with passionate fans who will show up at the box office for a film that accurately portrays their world. That film, directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, is currently in post-production, with a 2016 release date.
The world of skateboarding is one that hasn’t been explored thoroughly in films, with only a handful of features, including Gleaming the Cube and the aforementioned Lords of Dogtown being among the few major releases focused on the topic. That assumes, of course, you don’t include the tens of thousands of skateboarding videos posted on YouTube. Either way, there appears to be an underserved audience to whom a skateboarding-centric feature could speak.
In addition to Low Riders, Imagine is anticipating the release of their nautical epic In the Heart of the Sea, while production has wrapped on the Tom Cruise crime thriller Mena. The company is also at work developing the adaptation of Stephen King’s masterpiece The Dark Tower.
Producers are currently looking for a screenwriter to grind out a new draft of the script before they can ramp up production.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer