If you’re a fan of wrestling then this is a film that you will be interested in seeing. Even if you’re not a fan, I think this movie is going to end up telling a very interesting and engaging story about Gorgeous George the colorful villain wrestler that inspired everything that wrestling has become.
Vince McMahon’s WWE Studios has recently acquired the rights to the book Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Popular Culture, which was written by John Capouya and published in 2008. They spent a good amount of money for the rights that falls into the mid- 6 figure category.
WWE Film has committed to start shooting the movie based on Gorgeous George’s life in 2011, and they have has already hired John Posey to write the script for the film. McMahon has said that he would never make a film based on a wrestler, but it looks like he’s made an exception, because he’s the one that wanted to pursue this.
WWE Films head Mike Pavone had this to say,
George’s flamboyant persona not only set the tone for future stars like Hulk Hogan and The Rock, but also helped Bob Dylan come out of his shell and influenced the likes of Muhammad Ali, James Brown, and Liberace.
George Wagner was a good wrestler who couldn’t get over the top until he developed this character that people loved to hate. He had this effeminate, aristocratic persona that he and his wife Betty created from whole cloth, down to the robes and platinum blonde hairstyle his wife copied from Betty Grable. George realized that they don’t come to see the good guy win, they come to see the bad guy lose. He paraded as this effeminate man in the 40s and 50s in Texas and the South, with 12,000 people screaming and throwing things.
I’m not a big fan of wrestling, but I’m always up for a good film, and this Gorgeous George biopic sounds like it’s gonna be a good film.
Here is a description of the book that the film will be based off of.
This is the first-ever biography of the legendary wrestler Gorgeous George, filled with incredible never-before-told stories. George directly influenced the likes of Muhammad Ali, who took his bragging and boasting from George; James Brown, who began to wear sequined capes onstage after seeing George on TV; John Waters, whose films featured the outrageous drag queen Divine as an homage to George; and too many wrestlers to count. Amid these pop culture discoveries are firsthand accounts of the pro wrestling game from the 1930s to the 1960s.
The ideal American male used to be stoic, quiet, and dignified. But for a young couple struggling to make ends meet, in the desperation born of the lingering Depression and wartime rationing, an idea was hatched that changed the face of American popular culture, an idea so bold, so over-the-top and absurd, that it was perfect. That idea transformed journeyman wrestler George Wagner from a dark-haired, clean-cut good guy to a peroxide-blond braggart who blatantly cheated every chance he got. Crowds were stunned—they had never seen anything like this before—and they came from miles around to witness it for themselves.
Suddenly George—guided by Betty, his pistol of a wife—was a draw. With his golden tresses grown long and styled in a marcel, George went from handsome to . . . well . . . gorgeous overnight, the small, dank wrestling venues giving way to major arenas. As if the hair wasn't enough, his robes—unmanly things of silk, lace, and chiffon in pale pinks, sunny yellows, and rich mauves—were but a prelude to the act: the regal entrance, the tailcoat-clad valet spraying the mat with perfume, the haughty looks and sneers for the "peasants" who paid to watch this outrageously prissy hulk prance around the ring. How they loved to see his glorious mane mussed up by his manly opponents. And how they loved that alluringly alliterative name . . . Gorgeous George . . . the self-proclaimed Toast of the Coast, the Sensation of the Nation!
All this was timed to the arrival of that new invention everyone was talking about—television. In its early days, professional wrestling and its larger-than-life characters dominated prime-time broadcasts—none more so than Gorgeous George, who sold as many sets as Uncle Miltie.
Fans came in droves—to boo him, to stick him with hatpins, to ogle his gowns, and to rejoice in his comeuppance. He was the man they loved to hate, and his provocative, gender-bending act took him to the top of the entertainment world. America would never be the same again.
What are your thoughts on WWE making a Biopic based on the life of Gorgeous George?