'Seven's' Walker to pen new draft of biopic

A correction was made to this article on Feb. 20, 2004.

Director McG is turning his attention to a daring, devilish icon of the 1970s — Evel Knievel.

McG is the latest helmer to be attached to Universal Pictures’ Knievel biopic, “Pure Evel.” Scribe Andrew Walker (“Seven”) will pen a new draft of the script. McG will also produce under his Wonderland Sound and Vision banner, where Stephanie Savage will exec produce.

Knievel, McG said, was one of the characters he fantasized about in his “Walter Mitty childhood.”

He and Walker plan to visit Knievel, who is recuperating from back surgery in Clearwater, Fla., and interview him for the pic.

“Here, the fact really is stranger than fiction,” he said. “This is a guy who was a bank robber. This is a guy who carried Wild Turkey in a cane. This is a guy who painted his name on his Lear jet and then bought a second one to fly alongside so he could look at it from the air.”

McG added: “The picture is about a man and that which made him great will also be his undoing. I want to tell darker stories. This will be a dramatic piece.”

Pic will focus on a narrow slice of Knievel’s life, he said, tracking the stuntman’s rise to fame as he jumped everything from buses to a canyon, thrilling auds when he landed safely — or crashed and broke nearly every bone in his body. McG envisions ending at Knievel’s much-hyped, failed rocket jump across the Snake River Canyon.

Prospect of a biopic of the motorcycle daredevil has captivated filmmakers for years. In 1998 Betty Thomas was attached to direct Matthew McConaughey as the American flag-clad cyclist.

U vice chair Scott Stuber and veep Dylan Clark are overseeing “Evel.”

McG is at work on a “Hot Wheels” pic for Columbia. He’s also been working with Warners on a “Superman” project.

In addition to “Seven,” Walker also penned “Sleepy Hollow.”

McG is repped by Management 360, Walker by Missy Malkin. Both are agented by Endeavor.

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