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“Nyad”: Read the script that tells the true story of Diana Nyad’s leap into history

“Nyad”: Read the script that tells the true story of Diana Nyad’s leap into history
“Nyad”: Read the script that tells the true story of Diana Nyad’s leap into history

Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series, which highlights the year’s most talked about screenplays, continues NyadJulia Cox’s adaptation of Diana Nyad’s memoir, which formed the basis for the Netflix film from directors Elizabeth Chai Vásárhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

The plot follows the true story of Nyad’s attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of 63. Annette Bening plays Nyad and Jodie Foster plays her coach Bonnie Stoll. Both were recently nominated for Golden Globes for their performances.

Nyad once attempted the Cuba-Florida swim in 1978, at the height of her long-distance swimming career, but did not make it. After she retired, she covered sports for ABC and NPR, among others, but after her 60th birthday in 2010 she tried swimming again. She didn’t make it this time either.

The film chronicles Nyad’s multiple attempts to cross the Florida Straits the 110 miles from Havana to Key West – it took her five attempts before she finally made it in 2013. With each swim, Nyad discovers new obstacles that can derail her. From sharks in open water to jellyfish, whose stings can cause severe pain or even be fatal. Nyad and Stoll worked with navigator John Bartlett (Rhys Ifans) to determine the correct course.

Producer Andrew Lazar read Nyad’s book, Way to getand even offered Nyad the chance to write the adaptation. After their concept, the producers were convinced by Cox’s version.

“That special friendship paved the way for me,” said Cox, who was also with Stoll and Nyad during the trial. “It didn’t take long for the characters in my head to talk to me.”

Married documentary filmmakers Vásárhelyi and Chin were chosen for the humanity they brought to the mountaineering documentary Free solo. They worked with Cox to portray Nyad’s physical prowess and character. In Vásárhelyi, Bening, the four-time Oscar nominee, was awarded for her maturity and fearlessness.

“It was very important for us to get the age right,” she said. “We wanted an actor who wasn’t afraid to play a complex woman.”

Bening read the script during the pandemic and then met the real Nyad.

“What interested me when I got to know her was also the softness in her and the part of her that suffers like we all do and the part of her that is insecure,” Bening said during an appearance on Deadline’s Contenders Film: Go Angeles said. “I’m curious to see what part of her feels incompetent.” What part of her is that? Like I said, it’s like the soft underbelly. We all have it.”

Click below to read the script.

Source: Deadline

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