Set in the competitive world of fencing, Saldana is attached to play Mae, an ambitious female athlete facing personal demons and childhood rivals as she vies for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The film is inspired by McGlade’s own experiences as a national champion fencer. McGlade capped her tenure at Harvard by leading her team to the school’s first-ever NCAA Championship title.
Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea) is producing with Whitaker Lader. Affleck and Lader previously teamed up on Light of My Life and Mona Fastvold’s The World To Come starring Vanessa Kirby and Katherine Waterston, currently in post-production.
Also producing are McGlade, and Claudia Bluemhuber of Silver Reel (The Wife), which is also financing. Imagine Entertainment (Apollo 13) will executive produce. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Finance are co-repping the U.S.
McGlade commented, “As a writer and filmmaker I seek to tell brazen, character-driven stories about people who are flawed, and thus real. Especially women. Characters who are their own worst enemies and yet incredibly resilient. Fencer is a celebration of perseverance and sacrifice, while also a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting one’s sense of worth and security solely through achievement and external validation. Fencer will provide one of the screen’s first realistic glimpses into the thrilling world of fencing, much more demanding and diverse than stereotypes may suggest, and an intimate and intense look into the minds and lives of female athletes. It is a dream come true to get to work with Zoe on Fencer, and to marry my two greatest passions: filmmaking and fencing.”
Affleck and Lader added, “We feel so lucky to be a part of Fencer, which is an unflinchingly honest look at an ambitious, complex woman whose relationships and motivations defy simple categorization. The powerful script forces us to ask ourselves some of life’s most fundamental questions: ‘What defines you? Is it your work, reputation, relationships? What matters most to you and what will you do to protect that?’ We immediately fell in love with Jasmine’s unique story and perspective, and since partnering have been blown away by her intelligence, creativity, and tireless work ethic.”
Saldana is represented by CAA and LBI Entertainment. McGlade is represented by UTA and Lighthouse Management & Media.