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Surf’s Up – Jay Moriarty biopic in the works. Sean Penn may be Mentor

Posted by LiveFor on March 30, 2010

Production Weekly had a little Tweet:

Curtis Hanson to direct “Jay Moriarity” based on the true adventures of the surfing wonderboy – Sean Penn in talks to play his mentor Frosty

Hanson is the guy who directed L.A. Confidential which is a very cool film.

I’m not to up on my surfers, but do like the whole concept and spiritual side of it all (go watch Big Wednesday for an excellent surfing movie).

A quick look up on the life of Moriarty is quite sad as it turns out he died the day before his 23rd birthday in a free diving accident.

SURFLINE.com have a bio on him:

Born in Georgia, James Michael Moriarty soon relocated to Santa Cruz. His father Doug, and Airborne Ranger, instilled in the young lad a sense for adventure and introduced him to surfing as an 11-year-old tike at Sewer Peak. According to Jay, “When I started I didn’t have a wetsuit. I just had shorts and a t-shirt that I wore. And I had a 7’0″ Haut, a little pintail, like a three-inch-thick ’70s board. I was unequipped and clueless but I didn’t give a shit. It was just so much fun.”

The following year, Moriarty discovered his calling during, of all things, an NSSA shortboard contest at Pleasure Point. In double-overhead surf, the 12-year-old was the only kid to make it out, winning the event and realizing his affinity for big surf. Shortly thereafter, he chanced across a wizened elder local named Rick “Frosty” Hesson in the midst of a rant about the newly-ordained jewel of California surfing, Maverick’s. After much prodding from the indomitable young Moriarty, the former lifeguard and collegiate swimmer agreed to prepare him for his future. Jay was determined to conquer Maverick’s, but not before Hesson engaged him in a program of intense mental and physical training.

Moriarty planned on a future as a firefighter, having completed his EMT training at Cabrillo College, but he would get no closer toward his goal. The day before his 23rd birthday, Jay drowned while free-diving alone off the Lohifushi Island resort in the Maldives, where he was visiting for a photo shoot. He had planned to meet his wife of less than one year, Kim, and begin his fourth season, this time as head instructor, for the O’Neill Academy through Europe.

Sean Penn could be playing Frosty then. Sounds like it could be a nice little movie.

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