Star Wars star Daisy Ridley is set to star in a new original film being produced for Disney+ titled Young Woman And The Sea. The movie is based on the book written by Glenn Stout, which chronicles the daring journey of the first woman to ever swim across the English Channel, which is 21 miles long. That woman’s name is Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle, and she accomplished this feat in 1926
The film is being directed by Joaquim Rønning (Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil f) from a script written by Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Catch Me If you Can). Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman are producing. Here are the details of Trudy’s story:
The daughter of a German butcher from Manhattan, Ederle was a competitive swimmer, who won gold in the 1924 Olympics when she decided to attempt crossing the channel. She undertook the feat after first swimming 22 miles from Battery Park in New York to Sandy Hook, NJ, setting a record that stood for 81 years. She contracted with two newspapers and sold her story, thereby financing her quest. There was actually a race among women who would be first to cross as only five men had done so before.
She did it with help from her family: with sister Meg, she constructed a two-piece swimsuit — unheard of in the 1920s when skirt lengths were below the knee and ordinary swimsuits looked like summer dresses. They also used candle wax to seal her goggles to make them leak-proof. All this helped only so much as she struggled against waves, winds and treacherous waters to become world famous when she reached shore. She had shattered centuries of female stereotypes and was given a ticker-tape parade upon her return to New York, where 2 million cheered her. Her feat was largely forgotten soon after, as the world moved on.
It’s explained that Nathanson started working on the project several years ago and became obsessed with it. This is a great project for everyone involved. After I saw Kon-Tiki, I had high hopes for Rønning’s directing career, and then he went on to make a couple of mediocre Disney films. This new film is more in his wheelhouse, though, and I think he’ll end up developing a great movie from the story.