If you’re a tennis fanatic, it’s time to rejoice. Actor-producer Reese Witherspoon and her production company Hello Sunshine will soon produce a biopic on the life of tennis legend and activist Martina Navratilova. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald and Suzanne Gilbert have also come on board as producers for this venture.
The actress had started Hello Sunshine about two years ago with the sole purpose of encouraging female authorship and storytelling. This documentary will include contributions from Navratilova’s fans, who will describe her impact on social/political issues and initiatives.
One of the most accomplished tennis players of all time and a committed advocate for LGBT rights, Navratilova, who’s now 61 years old, has won 18 singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 major mixed doubles titles. She was World No 1 for a total of 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles. The mega sports star had come out as a bisexual in 1981 but later disclosed that she was a lesbian. In 1985, she had also released her autobiography, “Martina.”
The documentary is all set to reveal Navratilova’s story through Greenwald’s eyes, a gay child who grew up in the Reagan-era Florida. It will also talk about the legend’s impact on him as his childhood hero, how we all land up worshipping our role models, and what happens when we feel lonely, judged or cast aside by society.
Greenwald, who had featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning Edward Snowden doc, CitizenFour, stated that Martina’s on-court achievements are nothing in comparison to her role as a trailblazer and pioneer when it came to feminism, women’s athletics, transgender visibility, immigrant rights and the right of political dissent.
Charlotte Koh, Head of Digital Media & Programming for Hello Sunshine, said, “The issues raised by Martina’s legacy resonate now more than ever, which is why it’s so important to tell her story to new generations of engaged young people who may not be aware of the vital role she played in shaping expectations around female identity and LGBT equality.”
The news of this documentary followed soon after the success of another film on a major sports figure, Serena Williams. She is the subject of a five-part series ‘Being Serena’, currently airing on HBO.