Coming off of the buzz generated by his Academy Award-winning drama The Theory of Everything, director James Marsh is in talks with actress Rachel Weisz (The Light Between Oceans, Behind Enemy Lines) to star in Marsh’s new untitled biopic about the tragic exploits of sailor Donald Crowhurst. Weisz’s potential involvement was first reported by Deadline.
The upcoming movie’s plot revolves around the true story of Crowhurst, an amateur British sailor who, in order to revive his failing business, enters into a solo around-the-world yacht competition in 1968 only to meet his death. Weisz would be starring opposite Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man), who is portraying the lead character, as Crowhursts’s wife, Clare.
Although the casting of Clare has been a shifty subject (there were rumors of Kate Winslet’s involvement in November of 2013), Firth allegedly jumped onto the project without much prodding. Firth describes the appeal of the script to Collider:
[It’s] an astounding story. I don’t know. I feel just a passion for it. I think it’s a wonderful tale. I mean, a heartbreaking, devastating thing. I think it’s not a common story, but I think it’s a far more universal than it looks at first glance.
Marsh himself is no amateur in biopic fare, having earned an Academy Award for his 2008 documentary Man on Wire – depicting an equally as intriguing person testing overwhelming odds.
His urge to recreate an individual’s life through a cinematic biopic is an industry trend as of late, with mainstream movies like Selma, The Imitation Game, and American Sniper gaining attention – whether it be to magnify, simplify, or glamorize the historical truths of their respective biographies. A number of biopics are slated for this year, in fact, centered around famous persons such as Tupac Shakur, Steve Jobs (starring Michael Fassbender), Marilyn Monroe, and the McDonald’s founders (starring Michael Keaton).
The Donald Crowhurst project is set to begin shooting this spring.