Zoe Saldana joins Casey Affleck-produced Fencer
It’s been nearly two years since we last heard word about the sports drama Fencer, in which it was last reported Casey Affleck had signed on to co-star and produce, and now Zoe Saldana (Avengers: Endgame) has joined the project in the lead role just in time for the film to be sold at the European Film Market, according to Deadline.
The film, written and directed Jasmine McGlade, is set in the competitive world of fencing and follows Mae (Saldana), an ambitious athlete facing personal demons and childhood rivals as she vies for a spot in the U.S. Olympic team. The story is inspired by McGlade’s experiences as a national champion fencer, having wrapped her tenure at Harvard by leading her team to the school’s first-ever NCAA Championship title.
“As a writer and filmmaker I seek to tell brazen, character-driven stories about people who are flawed, and thus real. Especially women,” McGlade said. “Characters who are their own worst enemies and yet incredibly resilient. Fencer is a celebration of perseverance and sacrifice, while also a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting one’s sense of worth and security solely through achievement and external validation. Fencer will provide one of the screen’s first realistic glimpses into the thrilling world of fencing, much more demanding and diverse than stereotypes may suggest, and an intimate and intense look into the minds and lives of female athletes. It is a dream come true to get to work with Zoe on Fencer, and to marry my two greatest passions: filmmaking and fencing.”
It’s currently unclear if Affleck is still set to co-star in the film, but he will still produce the project alongside Whitaker Lader, who he recently worked with on The World to Come starring Vanessa Kirby (Hobbs & Shaw) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), which is currently in post-production. The film will also be produced by McGlade and Claudia Bluemhuber of Silver Reel, while Imagine Entertainment is attached to executive produce.
“We feel so lucky to be a part of Fencer, which is an unflinchingly honest look at an ambitious, complex woman whose relationships and motivations defy simple categorization,” Affleck and Lader said in a statement. “The powerful script forces us to ask ourselves some of life’s most fundamental questions: ‘What defines you? Is it your work, reputation, relationships? What matters most to you and what will you do to protect that?’ We immediately fell in love with Jasmine’s unique story and perspective, and since partnering have been blown away by her intelligence, creativity, and tireless work ethic.”
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)