‘CODA’ Director Sian Heder To Helm Biopic About Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann

Sian Heder‘s CODA was arguably the most talked about film of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and was eventually acquired by Apple for a concurrent theatrical and Apple TV+ release next month. But Heder has already signed on for her next big project: an adaptation of the memoir of disability rights activist Judith Heumann.

The adaptation of the cleverly titled Being Heumann has also been picked up by Apple, and Heder is expected to write and direct. David Permut will help to produce the film with Heder under his company, Permut Productions, while Heumann herself will be credited as an executive producer alongside Being Heumann co-author Kristen Joiner.

In addition to Heder’s involvement, Ali Stroker, who became the first performer to both perform on Broadway and win a Tony while using a wheelchair for mobility, is reportedly being eyed to portray Heumann in the film. Stroker has already portrayed Heumann once before, but in a far different setting – on a 2018 episode of Drunk History.

The film will chart Heumann’s life, from her contraction of polio at five years old to her historic political achievements. Her organization of the famous 504 Sit-In protest of 1977 will be the film’s central focus, a topic which was also covered in Netflix’s award-winning documentary, Crip Camp.

Most of us haven’t had the opportunity to see CODA yet, but its central story about a teen singer and her deaf family has been praised as being sensitive and soulful, assets that will surely help Heder tell Heumann’s heroic story as well.

CODA will hit cinemas and Apple TV+ on Friday, August 13. Both that film and this one could mark the introduction of a strong new voice in filmmaking.


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