East Texans have followed it for years. Rosie O'Donnell sent a crew to cover it and even Barbara Walters spoke about it on 20/20. Now the Hands on a Hardbody contest in Longview may soon be hitting the big screen.
"Just when we think the contest has peaked and there's not anymore interest out there, something else comes along," says Jan Maynard. She's the publicity coordinator for Patterson Nissan.
A documentary film about the phenomenon drew nationwide attention in 1997. Now a feature film has begun to take shape. Two years ago a company called Industry Entertainment, which represents Ted Danson Productions, called the dealership. "We met and discussed the possibility of a small budget theatrical release or even better a Broadway musical. You know the truck spinning around and so forth," says Maynard.
Instead they settled on a drama that promises to make you laugh and cry. There's even a romance. "It's about the contestants. I do know that ownership is depicted in it as well as my character. My character is a very loving motherly type person."
The screenplay is still being developed but Jan hopes some of the people who participated in the event will also be depicted. Jan has a few ideas of who could play her on the big screen. She's hoping for either Bette Middler or Meryl Streep.