Ice Road Truckers star contemplates Hollywood potential
A hit U.S. television show about ice-road truck drivers in the Northwest Territories could very well move to the silver screen, and the show's Yellowknife-based star says he could envision a Hollywood debut.
20th Century Fox has recently purchased the rights to use Ice Road Truckers, the History Channel's documentary series, as the premise for an action film, CBC News has learned.
Peter Pitino, a Canadian Fox spokesman, said a script writer has yet to be hired and the film remains in the concept stages.
There is no word on who would play Yellowknife's Alex Debogorski, the veteran trucker known on the show for his outgoing personality and hearty laugh.
"I suppose if there's an opportunity to get involved in it, I'll have to start jogging and lifting weights," Debogorski said Wednesday.
"I'll have to get some of that Botox and stuff so the guy looks a little younger," he added with a laugh. "I think I can do that."
Debuting last year, Ice Road Truckers followed Debogorski and five other truckers as they hauled loads along the Contwoyto ice road from Yellowknife to the territory's diamond mines.
The show brought in 3.4 million viewers in the United States, as viewers tuned in to watch how the truckers endured frigid northern temperatures and braved the risks associated with hauling industrial loads on an ice road.
Ice Road Truckers is not shown in Canada, but Yellowknifers have been able to rent DVDs of the first season from local movie rental stores.
A production crew is filming new episodes on the winter road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. Four the show's original drivers, including Debogorski, are involved in the second season.
"This summer, the Arctic Ocean becomes their road," declares a preview video on the show's website.
Dealing with health issue
But Debogorski is not on the road right now — he was flown by medevac from Inuvik to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife earlier this week, after he began experiencing shortness of breath.
Debogorski told CBC News that he has a blood clot in his lung, and he is optimistic about his health.
"Well, they don't have to amputate anything and it hasn't affected my good looks," he remarked.
"Probably going to die of old age within the next 50 years; that's my prognosis."
Meanwhile, the affable Debogorski is already thinking about spinoffs, should he get that call from Hollywood.
"They'll have my little action figures right next to the G.I. Joe figures in Wal-Mart," he joked.