Annette Bening As Diana Nyad

Annette Bening As Diana Nyad

Courtesy of Black Bear Pictures.

Black Bear Pictures and Mad Chance have set Diana Nyad’s autobiography Find a Way for feature film adaptation, with plans to commence production this summer. Academy Award, BAFTA and Emmy Award winning duo Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (of Free Solo) are set to direct Nyad, marking their narrative directorial debut.

Four-time Academy Award-nominated Annette Bening will star as Diana. The screenplay was written by Emmy Award winner Ann Biderman and Julia Cox. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) and Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman (I Care a Lot, The Imitation Game) developed and will produce.

The film is described by The New York Times Book Review as “Life-affirming…a story about refusing to accept, or be defined by, defeat.”

Diana Nyad in the middle of the Florida Straits between Cuba and Florida

Find a Way inspired the script which fills in the backstory, technological challenges, mindset, and prologue of the 64-year-old Nyad who swam 177 km from Cuba to Florida in 52 hours 54 minutes in August 2013.

Bening, nominated for four Academy Awards throughout her prolific career, is best known for roles including American Beauty, The Grifters, The Kids Are All Right, 20th Century Women, The Seagull, and The Report.

Vasarhelyi and Chin won the Academy Award for ‘Best Documentary Feature’, and a BAFTA for ‘Best Documentary’ for their 2018 documentary Free Solo, which also nabbed two Emmy Awards. The pair co-directed and produced the documentary, with Chin also serving as Director of Photography and appearing in the film.

I was so fortunate to be on Diana’s failed crossings,” said Steven Munatones. “She went through so much over those years: failure, doubt, endless training, storms, box jellyfish, uncooperative weather and conditions. But in the end, she found a way. It was not easy and not inexpensive. But she ultimately saw her dream to fulfillment and got the job done. I am excited to see her life and story depicted by Annette Bening on the big screen.”

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Steven Munatones