It's just a couple of weeks since the announcement that Sean Penn would likely direct the film, and now here come the casting stories. First in line for Crazy For The Storm is Josh Brolin, as surf and ski guru Norman Ollestad Sr.
The film is based on a memoir by Ollestad's son, also called Norman. The book covers his childhood with his demanding but charismatic father amid the surf cultures of Malibu and Mexico in the 1970s. But there's also the small matter of the plane crash in 1979 that deposited them both 9000ft up in the San Gabriel Mountains in a blizzard, causing the then 11-year-old Norman Jr to draw on all his inherited outdoorsman skills to survive.
Interestingly, this isn't the first surfing patriarch that Penn has considered committing to film: he was supposed to be producing (and possibly starring in) a biopic of surf-camp pioneer Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz a couple of years ago. Crazy For The Storm is obviously coming from a slightly different angle, but it's recognisably similar territory, once again dealing with characters on the fringes of society that Penn dealt with so brilliantly in Into The Wild.
Crucial to the new film will be the casting of Norman Jr, and we're saying the production could do a lot worse than Conan The Barbarian's Leo Howard (despite his being slightly too old for absolute fidelity). Neither Brolin or Penn are quite officially signed on yet, but if all goes to plan, shooting will start in the spring, once Brolin is finished with Spike Lee's Old Boy.