EXCLUSIVE: Following an extensive search, director Olivia Wilde looks to have found her Kerri Strug setting Leave No Trace breakout Thomasin McKenzie to play the Olympian gymnast in Perfect for Searchlight. Wilde will direct from a script by Ronnie Sandahl. Nik Bower & Jeremy Baxter will produce through Riverstone Pictures along with Thomas Benski & Moss Barclay who will produce through Pulse Films. Deepak Nayar of Riverstone and Marisa Clifford of Pulse will exec produce along with Wilde and Sandahl.
An intimate and unflinching portrait of grit and determination, Perfect charts the story behind Kerri Strug’s historic Olympic vault to secure America’s first ever gymnastics team gold.
Since her directorial debut on the coming-of-age-comedy Booksmart, studios have been lining up to work with Wilde. When she attached herself to the Perfect package at last year’s EFM, Searchlight moved fast to land rights the script paying $15 million for global rights.
Even though she is currently in post on her next directing job Don’t Worry Darling, Wilde has spent the last couple of months meeting with talent for the role of Strug. In the end, McKenzie audition blew away execs and Wilde with her ultimately landing the job. Production is expected to start top of 2022.
As for McKenzie, she first introduced to audiences a breakout role in Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace for which she was recognized with multiple awards nominations and was recognized by National Board of Review for Breakthrough Actor of 2018. She subsequently starred in Taika Waititi’s Academy Award nominated film Jojo Rabbit, as well as True History Of The Kelly Gang in the same year. Upcoming, McKenzie will be seen as the female lead in multiple projects, including Old for director M. Night Shyamalan and Last Night In Soho for director Edgar Wright. McKenzie is currently in production on the BBC adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.
She is repped by UTA, Industry Entertainment, Untitled Entertainment, Gail Cowan Management.