Joachim Rønning (Kon Tiki) is set to direct Young Woman And The Sea, a biopic charting Gertrude Ederle’s quest to become the first woman to swim across the English Channel in the 1920s. Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) is in talks to lead.
Competitive swimmer Gertrude Ederle from New York won a gold medal in the freestyle relay at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, whereupon she decided to swim across the English Channel. Although she was unsuccessful on her first attempt in 1925, Ederle returned the following year to try again.
In 1926, Ederle swam 35 miles from Calais to Dover in 14 hours 31 minutes, beating the men’s world record by 1 hour 59 minutes. However, her quest resulted in permanent hearing damage which eventually led to her becoming a swimming instructor for deaf children.
Joachim Rønning told VG: “As with my Norwegian films, Max Manus and Kon-Tiki, Young Woman And The Sea is based on a true story. For many years I have been looking for a way to make this film in Hollywood, and it is absolutely fantastic that Disney is now involved.”
“My last two movies, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Maleficent, were both for Disney, so this is a project I’ve been talking to them about for a while. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer also has a long relationship with Disney, so it was a natural place to take the project.”
Young Woman And The Sea, adapted by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) from the book by Glenn Stout, is expected to premiere on Disney+.