Hilary Swank is no stranger to playing real people. She’s previously portrayed Amelia Earhart in Amelia, Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry, and Erin Gruwell in Freedom Writers.
Her next project will see her play Janet Guthrie, a pilot turned racecar driver who smashed barriers to become the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500, in a film titled Speed Girl.
The film will be based on Stephan Talty‘s book of the same name. Swank will also produce with Joel David Moore and Rishi Bajaj‘s Balcony 9 Productions.
Set in the 1970s when the fight for women’s rights was gaining speed, Guthrie made a bid for the Indianapolis 500 in 1976 despite relentless opposition from the racing establishment. She qualified for the race in 1978 and went on to finish in the top ten, destroying many widely-held stereotypes about female drivers.
Per Deadline, The film “will bring Guthrie’s passion and persistence vividly to life, immersing viewers in the untold story of the woman who came to Indy just hoping to qualify and left a trailblazer, inspiring generations of future female racers”.
“This is an incredible true story about female empowerment and going after your dreams”, Swank said in a statement. “When I was approached with Janet Guthrie‘s story by the great team at Balcony 9, I immediately said yes. I can’t wait to bring her inspiring life to the screen”.
As mentioned above, Swank has often excelled in true stories such as this. She’s also earned two Best Actress Academy Awards, so there aren’t many better for the job. We’ll wait and see who signs on to direct.
This is the only project Swank currently has in the works. Last year she starred in Netflix series Away, which was cancelled after just one season, as well as films The Hunt and Fatale.