Daisy Ridley was a largely unknown actress until she was tapped to play the role of Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Now, she's a major movie star whose talents are in demand all over Hollywood. Of course, you can be sure Disney isn't going to want to lose out on the star they helped discover, and so it's little surprise that Disney is currently in talks to get Ridley on board a new Disney+ project, a film adaptation of Young Woman and the Sea, a story about the first woman to ever swim the English Channel.
Deadline reports that Daisy Ridley is in the contract negotiation stage, so while the deal isn't, technically speaking, "done," it seems quite likely that the project will move forward with Ridley in the lead. The Star Wars actress isn't the only member of the larger "Disney family" that will be returning to the fold. Joachim Rønning, who previously directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is set to helm the new project. Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the most recent Pirates movie, as well the Lion King remake wrote this script. He's currently handling script duties on the Lion King prequel film set to be directed by Barry Jenkins. Jerry Bruckheimer is co-producing the film.
Young Woman and the Sea will tell the story of Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle, who swam the English Channel in 1926. She won a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics in swimming before attempting the historic swim. Five men had crossed the channel when she attempted the feat, but in doing so Ederle accomplished something that many did not believe women were capable of doing.
At its core, this is an "inspirational true story" movie which Disney has always done pretty well with. Disney+ has already seen some of these, including the well-regarded Togo and Safety, which launches on the service Friday. Young Woman and the Sea is being called a Disney+ movie but based on the recent reorganization at Disney, it's possible that the movie could still become a theatrical release. It will likely be determined later in the process exactly how the movie will come to market.
If Daisy Ridley does come on board, and if the movie is set for Disney+, we could hear more about the project as early as later today. Disney is having a major Investor Day event this afternoon that will focus on the company's various streaming platforms, and that's expected to include revealing new projects, so Young Woman and the Sea could get a shoutout as an upcoming Disney+ Original Movie during the presentation. . Even if the project is still a couple years away, everything that Disney+ announces as an original project is something can help build or retain subscribers, which makes it important to Wall Street.