The life story of James Hunt is to be made into a Hollywood movie, it has been revealed, with 20-year-old Alex Pettyfer – a man whose wavy blond locks arguably make him a good fit for the part – to assume the role of Britain's much-missed late playboy world champion.
It is being reported in several circles that Steven Spielberg's film studio Dreamworks has acquired the rights to the recently-released book Shunt: The Story of James Hunt
by Tom Rubython with a view to converting it into a big-screen spectacle – although it is claimed that the Hunt family are less than enamoured by the project.
The public school-educated, high-living womaniser is one of the most legendary characters in F1 history, almost as famous for his numerous off-track conquests of the female variety – regularly sporting a T-shirt proclaiming sex as the 'Breakfast of Champions' – as his conquests on the circuit, of which there were equally many.
Remembered with great affection by many of the sport's fans, the crowning glory of Hunt's career was the Japanese Grand Prix
at Fuji in 1976, when he lifted the world championship laurels following a gutsy performance in torrential conditions.
His untimely death from a heart attack at the age of just 45 in 1993 – two days after he had commentated on the Canadian Grand Prix
for the BBC
and tragically mere hours after proposing to the love of his life, Helen Dyson – robbed the country of one of its indisputable true sporting heroes far too soon.
Whilst his on-track successes brought him international fame and fortune, Hunt's troubled and frequently turbulent private life characterised by years of alcohol and drug abuse had left him practically penniless by the time of his death – although cruelly, he passed away just as he had begun to banish the demons that had haunted him for more than a decade.
According to movie blog Deadline.com
, rising British star Pettyfer has been lined up to play the role of the protagonist in the movie, which would follow fast in the wheel tracks of the eagerly-anticipated Brazilian documentary 'Senna', scheduled for release in Britain this summer. It is understood that Pettyfer will also help to produce the film alongside Wolverine
producer John Palermo.