Annette Bening is set to star in a biopic based on the life of famed long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad that will be directed by the Oscar-winning duo behind “Free Solo.”
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin will make their narrative feature debut on the biopic “Nyad,” which will star Bening and tell the story of how Nyad at age 64 became the first person to swim the length of Cuba to Florida without the aid of a cage through waters infested by sharks and poisonous jellyfish.
The film is based on Diana Nyad’s autobiography “Find a Way” and has a screenplay by Emmy-winner Ann Biderman (“Ray Donovan”) with revisions by Black List writer Julia Cox (the upcoming “Do No Harm”).
Black Bear Pictures and Mad Chance developed the film and will produce, and production is expected to begin this summer. CAA Media Finance is presenting the film to domestic buyers at the virtual EFM, and STXinternational is handling foreign rights.
Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar and Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman developed and will produce.
Nyad came to fame as a long-distance swimmer back in the ’70s when she swam around the length of Manhattan, or 28 miles. And she made waves when she completed her swim of 110 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. Nyad attempted the swim five times between 2011 and 2013 and relied on a crew of 35 supporters, as well as her best friend, to overcome the odds. She was also once a top-ranked squash player and has now become an author and professional speaker.
Bening is a four-time Oscar nominee for films such as “American Beauty,” “The Grifters,” “Being Julia” and “The Kids Are All Right.” Some of her recent roles include “Captain Marvel,” “The Report” and “Hope Gap,” and she’ll next be seen in “Death on the Nile.”
Bening and Nyad are represented by CAA. Vasarhelyi and Chin, who recently signed with CAA for scripted projects, are also represented by WME and attorney Peter Nichols. Cox is represented by APA, manager Allison Doyle and Ziffren Brittenham.
Deadline first reported the news.