The world of skateboarding, which has preoccupied Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst since the late 1970s, will now be the subject of his feature directorial debut.
Producers Art Linson, David Fincher and John Linson have teamed under their Indelible Pictures production banner to produce “Lords of Dogtown,” an extreme look at the birth of the teenage skateboarding revolution, with Durst tapped to direct.
Pic will be fully financed by Senator Intl., which retains worldwide distribution rights. Shooting is skedded to start this summer in Venice, Calif. Stacy Peralta, one of the skateboarders who created the scene and directed the docu “Dogtown and Z-Boys,” penned the script.
On securing the project, Senator Intl. prexy Joe Drake says: “When Fincher, Linson and Durst bring you a movie with this much authenticity, you just say ‘Yes.’ ” Drake is championing the pic at Senator with exec VP of motion pictures Nathan Kahane.
“Lords of Dogtown” is a coming-of-age story about the real group of brash, young California surfers who took their dangerous and aerial style of surfing to the streets. In the process, they launched a world of skateboarding that defined a generation of teenagers and pop culture.
“This is a movie about iconoclasts,” says Fincher. “It is about youth and energy and anger and fulfillment. How could one not think of Fred Durst?”
Art Linson tells Variety, “This is a cool story about young kids growing up in a tough section of Venice who are trying to carve out a surf spot for themselves and discover through skateboarding who they really are. These guys were hijacking swimming pools in Brentwood, draining them and skating in them, and they were outlaws in Venice at the time. Some got famous and some got run over by the experience. It’s a fantastic tale.”
Pic has not been cast, though the filmmakers will be looking for a cast of relative unknowns to play the three main leads of original skateboarders Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Peralta. None of the original Dogtown skaters are expected to take a starring role in the film.
Durst came to the pic through his relationship with Fincher, who has been mentoring him since producer Michael London introduced them two years ago. Fincher and Durst are also developing another project, “Runt,” at Catch 23 Films.
“I’ve skated since 1978, and remember being from the opposite coast and what Venice and skateboarding meant to me personally and to teenage culture around the world,” Durst tells Variety. ” ‘Lords of Dogtown’ is a coming-of-age story about a pop culture revolution. I am very serious about this film and very close to the material. I want it to be inspiring, touching and emotional.”
John Linson has been developing “Lords” for the last four years. Art Linson started working on the project when he was based at Fox, where he and Fincher first teamed on “Fight Club,” but never developed it to script level. He brought in Peralta after Fox put “Lords” in turnaround while the “Dogtown” doc was being made.
Durst is researching music for the film and is expected to be very involved in its score. The Limp Bizkit frontman has directed more than 25 musicvideos for his own band as well as others such as Staind and Puddle of Mudd.
The Durst/Peralta project will likely be the first feature treatment of the skateboarding culture, although there are a number of competing projects in development. Daredevil skateboarder Tony Hawk is the subject of a bio at Disney and U is developing another Hawk skateboarding project described as “Boogie Nights” meets “The Fast and the Furious.”
Deal for “Lords” was negotiated on behalf of Indelible by attorney Craig Jacobsen, and by Paula Call on behalf of Senator.
Durst is repped by Endeavor, the Firm and attorney Matthew Johnson.