Selena Gomez Will Star as a Gay Mountaineer in New Biopic

"In the Shadow of the Mountain" depicts the life of Peruvian mountain climber Silvia Vásquez-Lavado.

LGBTQ characters and storylines are reaching new heights on the big screen—literally!

Selena Gomez will star in a new biopic about trailblazing gay mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Writer-director Elgin James (Little Birds) has been tapped to write and direct the feature. Oscar winner Donna Gigliotti (Shakespeare in Love, Silver Linings Playbook) will produce alongside Scott Budnick of One Community, an impact-focused production company.

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I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10months, that an all-star team has optioned my upcoming memoir In The Shadow of the Mountain (to be published 02-2022 by @madelinecjones Holt/Macmillan) for a movie adaptation. I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant @selenagomez in taking the starring role and as producer; To her incredible team @zackmorgenroth and @aleenkeshishian; Grateful to have the groundbreaking visionary #DonnaGigliotti and her Tempesta films involved; For the talented @elginnjames on the helm for screenplay and direction; And the support of @onecommunity films led by the trailblazer @scottbudnick1 and @lauren_denormandie None of this would have happened without the faith of my amazing family at @ideaarchitects, my incredible agent and dearest friend @laralovehardin, #dougabrams and my sweet family at WME led by #sylvierabineau and #carolinabeltran And to all of my family and friends, thank you for all your words of encouragement and support along this road. I can’t wait to share more! Link on my bio!

A post shared by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado (@silviavasla) on

The movie, titled In the Shadow of the Mountain, is based on the upcoming memoir of the same name by Vásquez-Lavado, which is slated for publication in winter 2022.

Vásquez-Lavado famously summited Mount Everest in 2016. In 2018, the Peruvian mountain-climber became the first out lesbian to climb the highest mountain on each continent, a challenge also known as the Seven Summits. Her mountaineering accolades aside, Vásquez-Lavado is also a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect. She has made a name for herself by organizing treks to Mount Everest’s base camp with other women who have endured abuse.

“Silvia is a force of nature,” Gigliotti told THR. “Scott and I are so excited to work with Elgin and Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure and humanity.”

Although Gomez isn’t openly gay, Vásquez-Lavado is totally pleased with her casting.

“My story couldn’t be in better hands!” the mountaineer wrote on Instagram in response to a comment from Gomez expressing her excitement about the project. “Thank you!”

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella