Michelle Williams, who is about to hit cinema screens with a supporting role in Venom, has signed on to star in The Challenger, a “biopic of sorts” that will revolve around astronaut Christa McAuliffe.
On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger was launched. 73 seconds after takeoff, the shuttle exploded and all seven astronauts onboard were killed, one of which was McAuliffe, a New Hampshire high school teacher who was selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project.
After her death, McAuliffe continued to be an inspiration for teachers around the world, with schools being named in her honour and scholarships established in her memory. She was also posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.
Williams will play McAuliffe, while the film will be directed by Martin Zandvliet (Land Of Mine) and written by Jayson Rothwell (Polar). In a statement, producer Ben Renzo said:
“We are more than humbled and extremely grateful for the opportunity to help tell the story of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger mission. Christa’s legacy deserves the strength, courage, experience and humanity that Michelle Williams brings to the role.
The entire Argent team is honoured and eager to responsibly capture and share the events and personal journeys of those surrounding this important historical moment with audiences around the world to help remember and further appreciate the sacrifices Christa and rest of the Challenger crew made to further our journey into space”.
No news yet on when the project is expected to head into production. Williams just wrapped on After The Wedding, in which she stars alongside Julianne Moore, and work has now begun on FX’s new eight-episode limited series which stars Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse and Williams as Gwen Verdon.