In 1926, at age 21, Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle shocked the world by become the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Ederle’s 21-mile journey brought attention and acclaim from around the world and, according to Deadline, Paramount Pictures is now developing a film about the inspiring event and the inspiring life of the woman who tackled the marathon swim.
Based on Glenn Stout’s book of the same name, Young Woman and the Sea is being adapted by a team that includes Producer extraordinaire Jerry Bruckheimer and Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson. The adaptation has found its eponymous swimmer as well, as Lily James (Cinderella) has been cast as Ederle.
Bruckheimer and Nathanson are also working together on Dead Men Tell No Tales, the latest iteration of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The former produced each of the previous four installments, as well.
While there will be little to no swashbuckling on this project, Bruckheimer knows how to frame a drama out of the fury and inconstancy of the sea, something that should serve him well in adapting Stout’s book. Ederle’s swim was, after all, no cakewalk. In fact, fewer people have repeated her feat than have summited Mount Everest.
Such was her accomplishment that, when Ederle returned to America, she was greeted by a ticker-tape parade in New York attended by 2 million people. Then, after fast-becoming one of the most famous figures in America, she disappeared from the public eye, adding yet another layer of intrigue to this fascinating tale.
As for the actress that will portray her, Lily James is forging quite the career for herself. Not only is she playing Elizabeth Bennet in the buzz-worthy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, she has also been cast as Natasha Rostova in BBC Worldwide’s War & Peace mini-series.
Her acting resume is certainly up to snuff, but she’ll likely have to spend some time in the lap pool before shooting begins.
Young Woman and the Sea has no release date as of yet, but we’ll update you as soon as more information becomes available.