Michael Apted Filling in for Curtis Hanson to Finish Directing OF MEN AND MAVERICKS

     November 23, 2011

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Walden Media is currently in production on Of Men and Mavericks, a drama about the mentorship of big wave surfer Jay Moriarty.  Curtis Hanson (8 Mile) was directing the picture, but is now recovering from “health complications” from a recent heart surgery.  Deadline reports that Michael Apted (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) is stepping in to finish the final 15 days of principal photography.

Gerard Butler stars, playing mentor to Moriarty (played by newcomer Jonny Weston), a soul surfer who made his name on the waves of Mavericks in Northern California.  Elizabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, and Levin Rambin also star in the October 26, 2012 release.  Best of luck to Hanson on a speedy recovery.  Hit the jump for background on Moriarty.

Here’s the Wikipedia bio on Moriarty:

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Born in Georgia in 1978, Moriarity and his family moved to Santa Cruz, California, soon after his birth. His father was Green Beret parachutist and a surfer, who introduced his son to surfing when he was 9 years-old. He immediately took to surfing and quickly became a respected surfer in Santa Cruz. Not limited to either a shortboard or a longboard, he was known as a versatile surfer who appreciated all aspects of surfing. This appreciation was rooted in an overall love for the ocean, seen in his accomplishments as a swimmer, paddler, diver, and fisherman. Achieving success in surfing as a youngster, he became increasingly interested in surfing Mavericks, north of Santa Cruz in Half Moon Bay. After intense physical and mental training he began surfing Mavericks at 16 years of age, and soon became a respected regular in the line-up.

He died on June 15th, 2001, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the island Lohifushi in the Maldives, drowning in an apparent diving accident. In Lohifushi for an O’Neill photo shoot, he went free-diving with members of the Brazilian crew but was not seen after. Details of his death are uncertain but he was reported to have gone farther down the buoy rope than the others, practicing his breath holding and meditating on the ocean floor 45 feet below the surface.  His body was recovered later that evening on the surface near the dive site.

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