Hilary Swank is revving up her next feature project.
The Away star is set to 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.
She is attached to star and produce the film, which comes from Joel David Moore and Rishi Bajaj’s Balcony 9 Productions. The two-time Oscar winner – for her performances in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby – is coming off Netflix space drama series Away and Deon Taylor’s feature thriller Fatale.
The feature is based on Stephan Talty’s book Speed Girl.
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 and the men she hoped to race against. Janet qualified for the race in 1978 where she finished in the top ten, destroying many widely-held stereotypes about female drivers. 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.
Swank, who has previously produced features including Freedom Writers and Conviction, and her husband Philip Schneider will exec produce alongside Balcony 9’s Joel David Moore and Rishi Bajaj.
“This is an incredible true story about female empowerment and going after your dreams” said Swank. “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.”
“Janet Guthrie was a fighter who wouldn’t let anything stand in the way of her dreams. Her excellence in the face of sexism, hardship, and sabotage resonates even more profoundly today,” added Moore.
The deal was negotiated by Hillary Jones of Jones and Jones Law Group and Jackoway, Austen, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Mandelbaum, Morris, Bernstein, Trattner, & Klein.
Swank, Moore and Balcony 9 Productions are represented by Management 360.