Illustration by Sasha Plotnikova/Torontoist.
Remember Igor Kenk? He’s many things to many people. The world’s most prolific (suspected) bike thief? Check. Alleged drug trafficker? Affirmative. Raging hothead? Yup. Stellar recycler? Sure, that too. But movie star? Now there’s a new one.
The newly established Pop Sandbox Productions has announced it is planning on releasing a multimedia documentary detailing the life and times of Igor the Terrible. This will include a feature film co-directed by Alex Jansen and Jason Gilmore, who extensively followed the notorious peddler of stolen pedals for over a year prior to his highly publicized arrest in the summer of 2008. Also attached to the project is author Richard Poplak (Ja, No, Man and The Sheikh’s Batmobile), who penned a standout article on Kenk for Toronto Life shortly after the bust.
Poplak is currently developing a graphic novel treatment of the documentary. He states, “Because we have accumulated so much footage of Igor over the years, it allows us to do a very different style of journalistic graphic novel, a very different documentary project, and, most excitingly, it allows me to try and rethink how a journalistic feature piece might look on the web in twenty years.”
In addition to paying routine visits to Kenk in jail, Poplak’s research has included dozens of interviews with the wheel-fiend’s friends and enemies, as well as a trip to his old stomping ground in Slovenia.
Moreover, Kenk has granted Poplak the rights to hours of recorded footage of himself. Should we be suspicious of his forthcomingness? Very. But Poplak insists Kenk “is in no way, shape, or form involved in the direction the project is taking, nor does he—or would he ever be able to—provide creative input or guide how we represent his character.” He adds, “I’m not sure what his motivation for being so free, clear, and open with us has been. I guess he has an agenda. But he is no doubt aware that we’re unlikely to fulfill it.”
Okay, but why focus so much attention on Kenk, of all people, in the first place? Poplak explains, “He is, literally, a modern outlaw in one of the most regulated social environments the world has ever known, and I think he says more about us as a society than we’d ever like to admit.”
Expect to be enlightened by Kenk via graphic novel and film sometime around early 2010.