Expect to see more leading ladies in uniform over the next couple of years. After facing off with a number of other interested parties, TriStar Pictures has secured the film rights to Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar’s memoir "Shoot Like a Girl: How One Woman’s War Against the Taliban Led to Her Victory Over the Department of Defense." As The Hollywood Reporter observes, this is "the third women-in-war book to spark a bidding war in as many months."
Hegar’s book, which will be released by an imprint of Penguin Random House in 2016, focuses on her time serving three tours in Afghanistan, during which the rescue helicopter pilot was taken down mid-rescue mission and shot by the Taliban. She not only saved the three Americans who were the original targets of the rescue mission, but also eventually escaped containment by hanging onto the skids of a helicopter like a goddamn action hero.
Afghanistan wasn’t the only battlefield Hegar survived. She also took on the American government in the courts. A Purple Heart recipient, Hegar sued the Secretary of Defense, claiming that the Combat Exclusion Policy was unconstitutional. The policy had prevented women from entering direct combat. Hegar won the case, and the DOD changed the policy.
The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein ("The Maze Runner," "Camp X-Ray") and Shari Smiley will produce the project, which is described as "’Top Gun’ meets ‘Erin Brockovich,’" while Nicole Brown ("This Is the End," "Whip It") will oversee things at TriStar.
Back in March, Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard nabbed the rights to Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s "Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield." Just one week before that, Warner Bros. bought the rights to Lynsey Addario’s "It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War." Jennifer Lawrence will star as Addario.
Evidently there’s a real demand for female-centered war stories right now. Women in the military have famously had a very tough go of it, but it’s important to depict the nearly 1.4 million female soldiers currently in active duty as the courageous, determined and multi-dimensional people as they are.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]