The Nicol David biopic: Everything we know so far about ‘I am Nicol David’
Datuk Nicol David has achieved many of her goals since picking up a squash racket at the age of five. In fact, upon her retirement, she'd won every possible title there is in her sport. Now, she’s smashing another entry off her bucket list: Telling her life story to a broader audience through the upcoming biopic I am Nicol David.
“I always dreamt of one day telling my story, to be able to inspire everyone to work hard for what they want to achieve,“ she wrote, on social media, when announcing the biopic. Many details about the movie’s production are still under wraps, but here’s what has been confirmed…
It’ll be produced by Ace Pictures
Ace Pictures Entertainment has secured exclusive development and production rights to the biopic. It is a Malaysian digital media and film production investment company, with offices in California. One of its previous projects, Clemency, won the Sundance Film Festival 2019’s Grand Jury Prize.
Nicol’s passion for squash will be the main focus
Rather than positioning itself as the story of an underdog’s rise to success, I am Nicol David will instead showcase her extraordinary dedication to squash—revealing untold stories from Nicol’s personal life. “While we believe many are willing to go beyond the ordinary for their careers as a pro athlete, the love and dedication Nicol has for the sport exceed normal understanding,” said Wong.
He emphasised that Nicol has always been an established icon. Hence, the decision to steer away from the underdog storyline. “(It’ll be) about a woman's will and dedication so profound, it becomes life itself, and the complex struggles one has to face when confronted with the reality of having to let go of something so deeply a part of herself," he elaborated.
In an interview with FlyFM, Nicol shared that one part of her story she wishes to share is what happened after she reached the top spot in squash. "Nobody tells you what to do when you get there and you have to figure it out yourself...I had people around me who are really good and when this was going on, they reminded me to be myself and the moment I took that onboard–I worked harder; because being world number one isn’t a given. And that’s how I started to build another phase of my career; that was a turning point for me."
Nicol is one of the producers
Given that it's her story being told, Nicol will closely supervise the biopic's development and production. Her role extends to pinning down what makes it into the biopic and how it's going to be put together. Filming will only begin next year, at the earliest.
Auditions will be held to cast the leading role
Nicol will not star as herself in the biopic. Instead, Ace Entertainment will host nationwide auditions, in both East and West Malaysia, to find the best fit for the titular role. Could this also be the dream, breakthrough role for an undiscovered talent or rising actor? The prospect is certainly exciting!
A Hollywood actress will be part of the cast
There’s no word yet on which Hollywood actress has signed on for the film, but we do know she will play the role of Nicol’s Australian coach, Liz Irving. Any guesses as to who looks and sounds the part?
The biopic will be in English
I am Nicol David will be produced in English as the biopic will cater to both local and foreign audiences. It’ll be distributed to key markets in the US and Europe through Ace Pictures’ distribution networks and connections in these regions.
One of the two screenwriters is Malaysian
The biopic’s screenplay is currently in development by two high-profile female screenwriters. One is a Malaysian who’s critically acclaimed, with solid credentials and high reviews in the industry. (Could it be Adele Lim of Crazy Rich Asians and Raya and the Last Dragon?) The other is a US-based writer with several film festival titles under her belt.
Of the synergy between this duo, Wong said: "Both masters of the craft, we believe that the collaboration between the two writers will bring about a deeper dimension and more values into the screenplay.”
“I’m so lucky I had the chance to partner with ACE Pictures who share this passion with me and can’t wait to get this rolling! It will be a long journey and I’m excited to count on your support through it.”—Nicol David
We can’t wait to watch I am Nicol David when it finally hits the big screen!
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