Tony Hawk Doc From Director Sam Jones And The Duplass Brothers Lands At HBO

Deadline announced a new HBO documentary on Tony Hawk from director Sam Jones ("Roadies," "Running With Our Eyes Closed") and Mark and Jay Duplass' Duplass Brothers Productions. Mel Eslyn ("The One I Love") is also on board to executive produce. 

"Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off" will highlight the life and career of the skateboarding legend. Hawk is a pioneer of modern vertical skating and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. In 1999 alone, he completed the first documented 900 skateboarding trick and licensed a video game series named after him published by Activision. Despite retiring from competing professionally in 2003, he is still heavily involved in the skating world and an idol for many aspiring athletes. The documentary will feature unprecedented access to Hawk with interviews and never-before-seen footage. There will also be interviews with prominent skateboarding colleagues like Stacy Peralta, Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Neil Blender, Andy MacDonald, Duane Peters, Sean Mortimer, and Christian Hosoi.

Mark Duplass emphasized that "Sam has managed to make a film that somehow transcends the sport of skating and becomes a unique and very human portrait. Can't wait to share this thing with the world." Jones chimed in by saying, "I've been enamored and fascinated with Tony Hawk ever since 1983 when I saw him at the skatepark. To get to know him as a human being has been the great journey of this film, and to share my love of skating in this way is the culmination of my creative endeavors."

Skating On Screen

Over the past few years, there's been an increase in movies and TV shows that feature skateboarding. For example, Crystal Moselle's film "Skate Kitchen" and the HBO show "Betty" empowers women to pick up a board, providing increased LGBTQ+ representation on screen. Jonah Hill's coming-of-age film "Mid90s" shows how skateboarding can be an outlet for its young protagonist as he's searching for himself. Then, there's Bing Liu's "Minding The Gap," about how skateboarding provided refuge for its three main subjects, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. 

Skateboarding has always been a refuge for Tony Hawk as well since it was a sport that helped curb his hyperactivity growing up, and helped him channel his high expectations for himself to succeed. In 1982, at age 14, he became a professional skateboarder and was able to buy a house by the time he was a senior in high school. To say he succeeded is an understatement. By 1986, he set his sights on film and television with a role in "Thrashin'" and in 1989 he secured a role in the classic film "Gleaming the Cube" alongside Christian Slater. If you haven't seen these gems, seek them out immediately. He's been consistently featured in films and shows throughout his career, with his most recent cameo in "Jackass Forever." 

Hawk brought skateboarding culture to the big screen for decades, so it's really great to now have a documentary solely focused on him. He's not only an important influence in the sport but also the business and philanthropy side of skating as well. He created The Skatepark Project (formerly known as the Tony Hawk Foundation) in response to the lack of safe and legal skateparks in America, and as of June 2018, his foundation has awarded $5.8 million and built over 600 public skateparks in underserved communities worldwide. Personally, I can't wait to see this documentary, as I grew up watching Hawk and playing his "Pro Skater" games on N64 and Playstation. The fact that the Duplass brothers are behind this doc as well is just the cherry on top.

"Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off" drops on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max in 2022.