NEWS - Monday, November 19, 2001

Hawk Skates to Disney

Has legendary skateboarding hero Tony Hawk lost his edge?

The Michael Jordan of the ramps--whose gravity-defying championship stunts helped elevate what was once considered a subversive guerrilla sport into mainstream youth culture--has up and sold his life story to Mickey Mouse.

Disney has snapped up the rights to the skater’s autobiography, Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder, for a biopic that Hawk himself will executive produce through his production company, 900 Films.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the big-screen version of Hawk’s life story will combine the classic Rocky-like underdog saga with the Fast Times at Ridgemont High skating culture.

Hawk grew up an awkward teenager in the ’80s and was often mocked by his peers for his diminutive size and his passion for skateboarding, which back then was considered a public nuisance rather than the mega-sport it is today.

After turning pro at age 14, Hawk staked his claim as the greatest freestylist ever, winning nearly every competition with his extreme escapades. With his popularity at an all-time high, Hawk, now 33, hung up his board a few years ago and has since traveled the country promoting skateboarding to an ever-growing youth market and stamping his name on everything from TV specials and skate camps to video games and toys.

In fact, Hawk’s been in bed with the Mouse House before. He recently did a cameo as himself along with son Riley, who ollies down a staircase in Disney’s October release Max Keeble’s Big Move.

The pro-skating champion--who’s credited with inventing more than 80 moves, including "The 9", a 900-degree aerial spin--is also slated to appear on an upcoming E! special titled Surviving the Toddler Years.

Tony and his wife, Erin, will appear as celebrity parents providing some memorable insights and moments of being parents of a toddler. The show is tentatively scheduled for broadcast run in January.

While his life story probably won’t be seen on the big screen until 2003 at the earliest, Hawk is also developing a separate skateboarding-themed flick with Revolution Studios in which he’s slated to star as well as executive produce. That project is described as a road-trip movie with chockfull of daredevil stunts.

In the meantime, fans will have to content themselves with Activision’s third-installment of its best-selling Tony Hawk Pro Skater for the XBox (news - web sites), which is due out in a few weeks.


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