Born in New Zealand, Webb worked as a journalist in Australia, though she initially earned a degree in philosophy. By 1967, she had gone to Vietnam during the war, though she did not receive an assignment from UPI until 1970, in Cambodia. In 1971, she was captured by Communist Forces, along with five other journalists, four of whom were Cambodian and one of whom was Japanese. They remained in this hostage situation for a total of twenty three days. Webb was only twenty eight at the time. However, notably Webb emerged from this experience with a more humanizing view of her captors; it is yet to be known how the film will portray this complex dynamic.
After her survival, she published a book in 1972 (On the Other Side: 23 Days with the Viet Cong), which will serve as source material for the upcoming film. Sadly, Webb herself will not be able to view this production of her life’s story, as she passed away in 2007 at age sixty four from bowel cancer.