“The Birth of a Nation” filmmaker Nate Parker will write a movie based on the three individuals in the inspirational wrestling story “Carry On.”
Walden Media will develop, finance and produce “Carry On,” derived from Lisa Fenn’s memoir that’s due to be published by HarperCollins in August.
Parker wrote, directed and starred in “The Birth of a Nation,” which debuted at Sundance in January and won the audience award and grand jury prize.
Apex Entertainment co-founder, president and CEO Mark Ciardi (“McFarland, USA”) and Identity Films founder Anthony Mastromauro (“Louder Than Words”) will produce. Campbell McInnes will oversee for Apex and exec produce.
Fenn is an ESPN producer who went back to her hometown of Cleveland in 2009 to pursue a story about two disabled wrestlers who attended an impoverished public high school. Dartanyon Crockett, legally blind yet the best wrestler on the team, would carry Leroy Sutton, who had lost both his legs in a train accident when he was 11, to practices and meets.
Fenn formed a connection with the two young men and dedicated the next six years of her life to ensuring their success. Sutton graduated from college and Crockett won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Naia Cucukov will oversee the project on behalf of Walden Media, which has obtained life rights to Crockett, Fenn and Sutton.
“Carry On” reflects Walden Media’s strategy of developing family films. Other upcoming projects include “The BFG,” directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl’s novel, and “A Dog’s Purpose,” directed by director Lasse Hallström and based on the bestselling book of the same name.
Parker is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content and attorney David Matlof. Fenn is represented by CAA (film) and Writers House (literary). Her manager is Chris George.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.