'Pretending I'm A Superman' Trailer: How 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater' Reinvigorated Skateboarding

Back in the early 2000s, sports video games suddenly had a new best-selling title that shook up the annual arrival of the same football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey games. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater became a huge when it launched in 1999, and it not only changed the video game scene for extreme sports, but it had a huge impact on the popularity of skateboarding overall. Now the legacy of the video game franchise will be explored in Pretending I'm Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story, and the first trailer is now online.

Tony Hawk Video Game Documentary Trailer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater arrived on PlayStation in the fall of 1999, years after skateboarding had fallen out of the light of mainstream sports. But somehow, the game became insanely popular. A press release for this new movie says that the game sold nine million copies at launch, but honestly, I can't find that number anywhere else online. It's hard enough for a game to sell a million copies in a single year, but there's no denying the game was extremely popular for its time.

In the video game world, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater went on to get many sequels and spin-offs, resulting in nearly 20 total titles. It also inspired several more extreme sports games with professional names attached to them, such as Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, and Wakeboarding Unleashed featuring Shaun Murray. There was even a kids game called Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure that used the same game engine as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4.

The franchise also created a surge in the popularity of skateboarding in the real world. Millions of kids were suddenly learning to skateboard, Tony Hawk became a household name, and the sport was a phenomenon all over again. In my schools, there was even some complications from kids suddenly bringing their skateboards to school, not to mention the popularity of the Tech Deck skateboarding toys. But will the documentary do anything more than tell us what we already know?

Based on the trailer, this seems like a pretty paint-by-numbers documentary from director Ludvig Gür. There's nothing about it that's particularly compelling if you're not already interested in skateboarding or familiar with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. If anything, it just feels like a nostalgic glimpse back at the game. But maybe there are some revelations to be made about the making of the game and the time it spent in the sun, especially when it comes to its later decline in popularity and quality as the franchise went on. Perhaps it'll arrive at the perfect time though, because the first two titles in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise have been remastered and are being re-released for current gen game consoles this September.

Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story arrives on digital and VOD on August 18, 2020.