Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
300 producer Scott Mednick is teaming with Academy Award-winning screenwriter David S. Ward (The Sting, Sleepless in Seatle) to develop a feature film about the secret women’s space program, based on Margaret A. Weitekamp’s book Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America’s First Women in Space Program (Gender Relations in the American Experience). I’ve always been interested in stories about the space program, and the Woman in Space program is ripe for the big screen.
The official description from the book reads:
On June 17, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Curiously, unlike every previous milestone in the “space race,” this event did not spur NASA to catch up by flying an American woman. Though there were suitable candidates-two years earlier, thirteen female pilots recruited by the private Woman in Space program had passed a strenuous physical exam and were ready for another stage of astronaut testing-American women would not escape earth’s gravity for another twenty years.
In Right Stuff, Wrong Sex, Margaret Weitekamp shows how the Woman in Space program — conceived by Dr. William Randolph Lovelace and funded by world-famous pilot and businesswoman Jacqueline Cochran — challenged prevailing attitudes about women’s roles and capabilities. In examining the experiences of the Fellow Lady Astronaut Trainees (as the candidates called themselves), this book documents the achievements and frustrated hopes of a remarkable group of women whose desire to serve their country fell victim to hostility toward such aspirations. Drawing from archival research and interviews with participants, Weitekamp traces the rise and fall of the Woman in Space program within the context of the cold war and the thriving women’s aviation culture of the 1950s. Weitekamp’s study sheds light on a little-known but compelling chapter in the history of the U.S. space program and the rise of the women’s movement in America.
The book has been praised for being extremely well researched. The 256-page book is available in paperback from Amazon for around $21.
source: VarietyCool Posts From Around the Web: