Tennis fanatics, get ready: Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald are teaming up to produce a biopic about all-star athlete Martina Navratilova.
Navratilova, regarded as one of the best tennis players of all time, won more than 30 women’s doubles titles during her illustrious career in the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s. But she’s more than just a stellar athlete: Navratilova also broke ground for queer women in sports, coming out as a lesbian in 1981. And she’s been an advocate for the LGBT community both on and off the court, speaking in defense of queer rights at rallies in the ’90s. (Since then, she’s retired from pro tennis—and tied the knot with her longtime girlfriend.)
The upcoming biopic will highlight her legacy as a pioneer for LGBT rights, told from the point-of-view of Greenwald, who grew up as a gay teen in Reagan-era Florida and regards Navratilova as one of his heroes.
“As monumental as Martina’s on-court achievements were, they pale in comparison to her role as a pioneer and trailblazer on questions of feminism, women’s athletics, [and] equality for gay and lesbians across the planet,” he told Variety.
The biopic marks the first time Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, has tackled a full-length documentary.
“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,” added Hello Sunshine programming executive Charlotte Koh.