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Helping a Damaged Hero Find Redemption

By on July 1, 2018
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Amid the Action, Wheeler Movie Tugs at Heartstrings

As happens with the plotlines of many movies, the actual filming can vary from the  screenplay and best-laid plans of the producers and directors. Timing and weather in Tennessee resulted in just such a change for the Wheeler movie that you’ve been reading about in the March-April and May-June issues of RoadKing. The mountainous terrain of Oregon has always been on the shooting schedule, but it’s taking on more prominence as completion of shooting draws near.

I-84, also known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway, travels east–west, following the Columbia River and the rough path of the old Oregon Trail from Portland east to Idaho. For this reason, it’s also known as most of the Columbia River Highway No. 2 and all of the Old Oregon Trail Highway No. 6. It also follows along or near U.S. Route 30.

As those of you who’ve travelled I-84 well know, the Cabbage Hill grade east of Pendleton is a 6% grade, with several sharp curves in both directions and a separation between directions of almost two miles. Deadman Pass  at an elevation of 3,631 feet can provide some navigational challenges. In addition to seeing some beautiful scenery, shear rock walls on one side and steep drop-offs on the other can cause one’s heartrate to spike a bit. Those who see the Wheeler film will fully understand.

Wheeler Movie Synopsis

You’ve already been given some hints about the Wheeler movie’s plotline. Taking things a step further, a damaged hero (Guy Wheeler) finds redemption through a relationship with an 8-year-old orphan boy over his CB radio. Wheeler and his wife have been trying unsuccessfully to start a family.

At Christmas time (back in the mountains of beautiful Tennessee), Guy Wheeler arrives home after a grueling two-month stretch on the road. One and a half years earlier, Wheeler attempted to rescue Willie (a trainee) at the trucking company, when their truck was hit by a train, leaving Willie in a wheelchair and Guy with a bum knee and a bad attitude. Guy wants to head back out on the road, but his boss wants him to stick around and train a new rookie.

Guy befriends Little Matt over the CB radio and discovers that his father died in Afghanistan. Guy decides to build a toy truck that Matt can sit in, replacing the wash machine box he plays with now. In delivering the gift, Guy gets caught in a lie, and ends up facing Willie and the tragedy that has plagued him for the last 18 months. Suffice to say, Guy instinctively jumps into action, just as many professional drivers would do or have already done.

Without revealing any more, you’ll want to see what happens next. More to come on the Wheeler feature film so watch for updates soon!

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