Jason Priestley options “Rolling Stone” article
Jason Priestley (yes, that Jason Priestley) is turning to the other side of the camera, as he has just optioned the feature film rights to Jesse Hyde’s “Death of a Freerider” article from “Rolling Stone” (Issue 1084, which also chronicled Michael Jackson’s last days). In a meaty issue focused on one of the biggest entertainment stories of the year, “Freerider” quietly spoke about a very different type of life cut tragically and mysteriously short.
“Freerider” focused on Sam Brown, a 22 year old Canadian who was famous (and infamous) within certain biking communities in the Great White North. Brown practiced freeriding, which can be explained as being a sort of highly-dangerous hybrid of parkour and mountain biking. Freeriders ride their bikes all over all sorts of crazy terrain, going so far as building their own trails and tricks along the way. “Free” is the operative word of the entire enterprise. Brown, however, did not die while riding, he ended up mixed up in drug-smuggling, a pursuit that fed his reckless desire for adventure and adrenaline, which ultimately led to his mysterious suicide.
The article is an excellent one and I think can lend itself to the cinematic treatment quite well. However, I do wonder just how much star power and funding will be put into Priestley's work as a producer. He has previously produced much in the television realm, including 35 episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (he also executive produced 85 eps of the serie).
If you are interested in reading the full article, you can check out full color scans of the original work from "Rolling Stone" right HERE. There's also a bunch of pictures of Sam, which will probably get your casting ideas flowing. My first bet is Anton Yelchin, but this could be a great role for a new face looking to bust into Hollywood.
Priestley is currently set to just produce the project, along with Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev of Nomadic Pictures. The team would like to start filming by the end of next year.