Black Bear Pictures and Mad Chance have set Diana Nyad’s best-selling autobiography Find a Way for feature film adaptation, with plans to commence production this summer with Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and directed by Academy Award winners Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo).
Described as “Life-affirming…A story about refusing to accept, or be defined by, defeat” (The New York Times Book Review), Find a Way inspired the script which follows the fantastic true story of swimmer Diana Nyad who, at age 64, assisted by her best friend and crew of 35 dedicated supporters, defied the odds to become the first person to complete the 110-mile journey from Cuba to Florida, through poisonous jellyfish and shark-infested waters.
Bening, nominated for four Academy Awards throughout her prolific career, is best known for roles including American Beauty, The Grifters, The Kids Are All Right, 20th Century Women, The Seagull, and The Report. Vasarhelyi and Chin won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and a BAFTA for Best Documentary for their 2018 documentary Free Solo, which also nabbed two Emmy Awards. The duo co-directed and produced the doc, with Chin also serving as Director of Photography and appearing in the film.
The screenplay was written by Emmy Award winner Ann Biderman (Ray Donovan) with current revisions by Black List scribe Julia Cox (upcoming Do No Harm). Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) and Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman (I Care a Lot, The Imitation Game) developed and will produce.
Black Bear debuted J Blakeson’s I Care A Lot last month, earning a #1 slot on Netflix and a Best Actress Golden Globe win for Rosamund Pike. Black Bear’s slate also includes Neil Burger’s The Marsh King’s Daughter starring Daisy Ridley, which STXinternational is selling at the EFM; Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Our Friend starring Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck and Jason Segel; Heidi Ewing’s I Carry You With Me which will be released by Sony Pictures Classics and received two Spirit Award nominations; and Dave Franco’s directorial debut The Rental.
CAA Media Finance is currently shopping the hot package to domestic buyers during the virtual EFM, and STXinternational is handling foreign rights.
Photo credits Jon Rou; National Geographic/Chris Figenshau