From “The King’s Speech” to “The Blind Side,” Hollywood loves an incredible true story.
In John Fairfax, the movie business has a doozy.
The adventurer died this month, his exploits largely forgotten and overshadowed by a glut of balloon boys and “Survivor” spin-offs.
That should change with a range of appreciations in papers like The New York Times and The Washington Post that read like pitches for a rollicking and uplifting version of “127 Hours.”
Fairfax was a true enemy of the mundane and would be a plum role for a DiCaprio, Gosling or Fassbender -- easy on the eyes actors looking for the part of a lifetime and an Oscar.
In the sixties, Fairfax captured the world’s attention by rowing across the Atlantic to become “the first lone oarsman in recorded history to traverse any ocean,” according to the Times obituary, which became one of the paper’s most emailed stories on Sunday.
He followed that feat up three years later by spending a year rowing across the Pacific Ocean with his girlfriend. On that trip, Fairfax was bitten by a shark and wound up smack in the middle of a cyclone.
And if those two journeys aren’t compelling enough, Fairfax also served as a pirate’s apprentice, attempted suicide by jaguar and ended his days as a baccarat player.
You cannot make this stuff up.
As for source material, Fairfax wrote two books about his maritime exploits -- “Britannia: Rowing Alone Across the Atlantic” and “Oars Across the Pacific” -- that should quickly rise to the top of any studio’s must-buy pile.
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