Netflix is setting sail with its latest biopic, about the remarkable true story of Jessica Watson, who at the age of 16 became the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world. Around the Block filmmaker Sarah Spillane is onboard to direct the pic, which is on based on Watson’s best-selling memoir, True Spirit. Spillane adapted the screenplay with Cathy Randall.
In 2009, Watson accomplished what many thought impossible, navigating some of the world’s most challenging stretches of oceans and surviving seven knockdowns while at sea for 210 days. Upon her arrival home, the Australian teen was met by then-Prime Minister KEvin Rudd, who declared her a national hero. In her speech, Watson countered that she didn’t consider herself a hero — just an “ordinary person, who had a dream, worked hard at it and proved that anything really is possible.” She was named Young Australian of the Year in 2011 and received an Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for service to sailing and as a role model for young Aussies.
Watson will consult on the family-friendly Netflix feature, which is being produced by Debra Martin Chase (Harriet) for Martin Chase Productions and Andrew Fraser (Lion) for Sunstar Entertainment. Executive producers are Shahen Mekertichian for Sunstar and Spillane.
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