Though it is rumored to have first been surfed as far back as 1975, it wasn't until 1990 that the mythical surf spot known as Maverick's off the northern California coast was actually documented in the 2004 surfing documentary film titled Riding Giants. It was a widely held belief at the time that hawaiian-style big wave surfing just didn't exist off the coast of California.
This mythical big-wave surf spot situated two miles off the coast of Northern California becomes the setting and inspiration for a feature-length scripted coming-of-age film called Chasing Mavericks starring Gerard Butler as Frosty Hesson, a surfing master and eventual trainer of Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) a young wannabe surfer who would not only go on to become a world-class surfing legend in his own right, but would also conquer a Maverick's giant wave when he was only 16 years old.
The film is directed by veteran filmmakers Curtis Hanson who previously plied his craft on such films as LA Confidential and 8 Mile, but is working this time around from a script by newcomers Brandon Hooper and Kario Salem.
Difficult to tell from what we see here, but it's yet to be seen if Hooper and Salem's script will rise above what, at first glance, appears to be a somewhat rote story of overcoming adversity to make this a truly heart-pounding and emotionally significant sports drama. They appear to hit all the right notes, and the chest-thumping power of the waves comes through, but these kind of films are tricky as it's crucial for the filmmakers to hit that perfect balance of emotion, heart, believability and heart-pounding action. Perhaps we'll get a better idea from additional footage as the release date nears.
Chasing Mavericks opens to a wide release in theaters on October 26th of this year. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer below:
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