Lily James is primed to swap the glass slippers for the swimming gear now that Deadline has confirmed the Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies actress will topline Paramount’s Young Woman and the Sea.
Taking inspiration from Glenn Stout’s eponymous novel, James joins the project to play Trudy Ederle, the American teenager who captured the attention of the world when she became the first woman to swim across the bitter-cold English Channel during the 1920s. Jerry Bruckheimer is attached to produce, and has drafted in his Paramount confidant Jeff Nathanson, the scribe behind 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Then again, Nathanson’s latest writing gig is worlds away from the maritime adventures of one Jack Sparrow; set against the roaring ’20s, Young Woman and the Sea explores Ederle’s daring, stereotype-defying venture and how she was celebrated as “Trudy of America” upon her triumphant return to the States, along with her disappearance from the public eye soon thereafter.
Adapting such an inspiring real-life tale is certainly no mean feat, though Nathanson – who will also executive produce – earned critical adulation with 2002’s Catch Me if You Can, and we’re hoping that the scribe can achieve a similar feat more than a decade later.
To gain a gist of the awards-friendly plot, here’s a synopsis of Stout’s novel:
In 1926, before skirt lengths inched above the knee and before anyone was ready to accept that a woman could test herself physically, a plucky American teenager named Trudy Ederle captured the imagination of the world when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel. It was, and still is, a feat more incredible and uncommon than scaling Mount Everest. Upon her return to the United States, “Trudy of America” became the most famous woman in the world. And just as quickly, she disappeared from the public eye.
With James, Bruckheimer and Nathanson in place, it shouldn’t be long before Paramount gets the wheels in motion for Young Woman and the Sea, and we’ll have all the updates for you as it develops.