Ok, so this is interesting and not just because my hero from 90210, Jason Priestley, is involved. Rolling Stone ran an article titled “Death of a Freerider” a couple months ago about Sam Brown, a promising mountain biker who was leading a double life as a drug smuggler and ended up committing suicide in a Spokane jail back in March (we also wrote about this on the blog). Priestley recently bought an “option” on the article which basically means he now owns the rights to create a screenplay and perhaps (fingers crossed) a movie. Variety says the plan is to start filming by the end of next year.
I haven’t had a chance to read the Rolling Stone article yet but this whole thing sounds kinda like Into the Wild, the Jon Krakauer book (then movie) about Chris Candless and his wandering adventures across the US. Candless was ultimately found dead in the Alaskan wilderness and the movie sorta explores the mysterious circumstances around his journey. Similarly, Sam Brown’s story has many unanswered questions like how he got involved in drug smuggling, why he was flying a helicopter without a license, etc.
In any event, I’m hoping the movie opens with a suitable amount of freeride footage, including the “Deconstructed Wheel” Brown built for himself. After seeing Race Across the Sky in theaters I can’t wait to see more mountain biking on the big screen, even if it’s not the star of the show.
Two videos below: Sam Brown showing off his skills and a news clip about Brown’s life