THAT SINKING FEELING

posted by / News / July 1, 2004

Every few months, a line of graffiti appears on the infamous wall at {{{Malibu}}}’s Surfrider Beach that reads, “Dora Wouldn’t Approve.” Considering the recent news that Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to play Miki Dora in an upcoming film, it’s surprising that message hasn’t been written all over the ‘Bu. In blood.OK, so that may be a little harsh, but Tinseltown has a long history of making laugh-out-loud awful surf movies. In addition, DiCaprio, best known for his role in “Titanic,” looks nothing like the dark lord of 1st Point and is not a surfer. Although he does own a house in Malibu, the pasty, scrawny, barhopping actor seems like an odd choice for the role of a surf icon. However, Leo did a credible job playing con man Frank Abagnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can,” and Dora’s legendary proclivity for larceny and fraud isn’t too different from that of Abagnale Jr. DiCaprio will also have plenty of time to work on his noseriding and decapitating kick-outs. The biography of Dora that the movie will be based on will not be released until 2005, with a film not likely until at least 2006. The author of the book is an acclaimed novelist and surfer named David Rensin. Rensin’s forthcoming, “All for a Few Perfect Waves,” promises to be the most complete retelling of the enigmatic surfer’s life. Rensin’s depiction of Dora is romantic and mythical. He describes him as, “part Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones, part Sid Vicious and part Cary Grant, all in board shorts.” The book will detail Dora well publicized exploits when he was a surf star in the late ’50s and ’60s and will also reconstruct the shadowy tales of his globe trotting life on the run in the ’70s and ’80s, which included a stint in a French jail. Many filmmakers and writers have pursued the rights to Dora’s story over the years including John Milius, writer/director of “Big Wednesday.” But while Dora would enjoy entertaining salivating offers from a lineup of Hollywood heavies he would always pull back from firm deals at the last minute. His death in 2002, however, opened up clear path for this book/film project to come together. -– Jamie Tierney

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