×

Michelle Williams to Play Astronaut Christa McAuliffe in ‘The Challenger’

Michelle Williams will star as the late astronaut Christa McAuliffe in the drama “The Challenger,” centered on the 1986 Space Shuttle disaster.

Producers are John and Art Linson, and Argent Pictures’ Ben Renzo. Martin Zandvliet will direct “The Challenger” from Jayson Rothwell’s script. Argent partners Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, and Derrick Brooks are executive producing the pic. Production is expected to start in May.

The tragedy took place when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, including McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was a New Hampshire high school teacher who was selected to join NASA’s Teacher in Space Project, and had been planning to conduct experiments and teach lessons from the Space Shuttle Challenger. She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

Williams has been nominated for Academy Awards for “Brokeback Mountain,” “Blue Valentine,” “My Week With Marilyn,” and “Manchester by the Sea.” She recently starred in “All the Money in the World” and “I Feel Pretty,” and will next be seen opposite Tom Hardy in “Venom,” which opens on Friday.

Williams has been shooting Bart Freundlich’s “After the Wedding” with Julianne Moore. She is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment, and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

More Film

  • A still from Sea of Shadows

    Sundance Film Review: 'Sea of Shadows'

    It’s a decidedly grim circle of life that moves us all in “Sea of Shadows,” a tight, troubling documentary eco-thriller that charts a compelling course of consequence from Chinese black-market apothecaries to the near-extinction of a rare whale in the Sea of Cortez, hitting on Mexican crime cartels and institutional corruption along the way. Austrian [...]

  • Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie Circle Edgar

    Matt Smith, 'Leave No Trace' Star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie Circle Edgar Wright Movie

    Matt Smith and “Leave No Trace” star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie are in negotiations to join Edgar Wright’s next film, “Last Night in Soho,” sources tell Variety. Details are vague about the psychological horror movie, other than it being set in London’s Soho district. Anya Taylor Joy is also in the cast. Production is expected to [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

  • Oscars Spa Treatments

    Area Spas Offer Red Carpet Treatments in Time for Oscars

    From a shopping session with a celebrity stylist to a covert airport pickup, these hotels and spas are offering even more curated packages for the ultimate VIP Oscar experience. For the Jetsetter Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ Doheny Suite Experience package allows travelers to evade the paparazzi with an underground or curbside [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content