It has been revealed that James Stewart declined an opportunity to become a Hollywood star and even ignored a call from Tom Cruise to give the go-ahead to to a biopic movie about his life.
Sam Jones, a guest on Real Talk 447, Ricky Carmichael and Jeff Emig’s podcast show, said he had the script written and an initial agreement with the Stewart’s and that Tom Cruise and Paramount pictures were all on-board and just waiting for the final go-ahead from the Stewart back in the mid-2000s.
But a change in management company saw the Stewart’s become wary of the situation and they ultimately decided not to go ahead, and when Stewart changed his mind in 2009, Cruise and Paramount pictures refused after losing a lot of money putting the initial project together.
Sam Jones said: “I had breakfast with the Stewart family and said I’d love to tell your story….We had never seen a great supercross movie and the only way to do that is to make it a true story. I put together a team of people, I did not write the script by myself, I was the third writer with two very talented people, Tom Cruise was one of our producers, Micheal London was the other one. Danny McBride and David Gordon Green. (Scriptwriters)
“The sad thing about this, it did truly break my heart, I was so excited to tell this story, I love the sport. I had a very confidential conversation with Tom Cruise, I showed him the footage of Vegas when Stewart went over the bars (03) and a gave a two minute spell of his life and Tom got really excited and said I always wanted to make a more authentic race movie. They set us up at Paramount, the two guys I just mentioned got a quarter of a million dollars to write the script.”
“We were sort of in with the Stewarts, me and David Gordon Green went and lived with the Stewartz for a few weeks and interviewed the family. We wrote this script that I thought that was really good.
“At that time James Stewart made a whole bunch of sort of weird decisions and changed management. He came out and toured Paramount, we had a script and had Paramount studios ready to go with a 35 million dollar budget. We had a deal memo with the Stewarts, the deal memo was enough to advance the money for the script because everybody believed it was happening. Then once we had the script made we stopped hearing back from the Stewart’s, we sent them the script and never heard back. Tom Cruise gave James a call , we did all of that stiff and it was a real heartbreaker.”
Carmichael, who would have been in the movie but only knows about it now, says it was a real shame for the sport, which would have seen Paramount spend the same money as the film cost on promotion that would have given supercross’s mainstream exposure. “Think of the doors that would have opened for the sport, it’s a shame it didn’t work out.”
For the full fascinating story, listen below from 1h 03 minutes in: