UPDATE, MARCH 12, 3:21 P.M.: As promised, the trailer for the upcoming documentary on Charles “Mask” Lewis, the late Huntington Beach co-founder of the TapouT MMA clothing brand, was released Sunday.
Check after the jump to get a peek.
The film is due out in early 2013:
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 9, 8:40 A.M.: Sunday is the three-year anniversary of the death of Huntington Beach's Charles David “Mask” Lewis Jr., who was killed by a drunken driver in Newport Beach.
Sunday also marks the debut of a trailer for a documentary still in production on the colorful co-founder of TapouT, the mixed-martial arts clothing and lifestyle brand.
The film is a passion project for Bobby Razak, the London-born founder of TapouT Films and longtime friend of Mask.
“I get to share the story, the real
story, of what happened to my friend, who Mask really was and what he believed in,” explains Razak, who hopes to release his film in early 2013. “No one
else can do this movie except for me. No one has the footage and no one knew him like I did.
It's an honor and my destiny . . . my divine right to tell his story.”
Lewis and two friends started TapouT in 1997 by selling apparel out of the trunk of a car parked at MMA events around the country. The facepaint and cartoonish outfits Lewis wore earned him the “Mask” nickname. Ten years after its founding, TapouT's revenue reached $22.5 million.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on March 11, 2009, Lewis was driving red Ferrari on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach, where he was clipped by a 1977 Porsche. The Ferrari split in two after hitting a cement light pole. Besides killing the 45-year-old driver, his girlfriend suffered broken vertebrae, a broken hip, a shattered elbow and other injuries after being ejected from the Ferrari
and landing on a sidewalk. Repeat
drunken driver Jeffrey David Kirby of Costa Mesa was later convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in state prison.
Lewis' larger-than-life persona has not only kept him the public consciousness since his untimely death, but there have been various legal wranglings, from the Kirby trial to battles over Mask's ashes and estate. We even have the latter to thank for contributing to the removal of an incompetent County of Orange bureaucrat. On a more positive note, Lewis in 2009 became the first non-fighter inducted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame.