Out Of My Mind: Everything We Know So Far

Children's writer, professional educator, and the 1997 National Teacher of the Year Sharon Draper's award winning novel "Out of My Mind" is getting the film adaptation treatment. The book geared toward grades 5–8 from the five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award is a moving story about an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.

The book focuses on the multitalented Melody Brooks, a highly intelligent pre-teen who faces adversity due to her having cerebral palsy. Melody uses a wheelchair for mobility and is non-verbal due to her condition, and as such, faces systemic oppression in just about all aspects in life. As Melody grows older, a supportive teacher realizes her potential and helps her join an inclusion program that allows her access to standard public school education, which brings its own brand of difficulties.

"Out of My Mind" has been hailed for its honest look at the way the disabled community is treated in the education sector, but provides a universally relatable story about overcoming the odds, pursuing your dreams, and not letting anyone dull your shine. Here's everything we know so far about the Disney+ adaptation of "Out of My Mind."

When and where to watch Out of My Mind

The adaptation will be an exclusive to Disney+, and comes from Big Beach, Participant, EveryWhere Studios LLC and Disney Branded Television. No release date has yet been set, but as the film is currently in production in Toronto, we can likely expect it sometime in 2023.

The cast of Out of My Mind

After a nationwide search, the role of Melody Brooks has gone to newcomer Phoebe-Rae Taylor. The young U.K. model and actress also lives with cerebral palsy, and utilizes a wheelchair. It's clear that the team put in the extra effort to ensure the character was given proper representation, which is vital to telling such an important story. In addition, the supporting cast of "Out of My Mind" grows more impressive by the day.

Rosemarie Dewitt ("The Staircase”) has been cast as Diane, Melody's strong willed mother who will defend her daughter by any means necessary, while Luke Kirby ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel") plays her father, Chuck. Judith Light ("Julia") will be playing Mrs. V., the Brooks family's loving yet tough neighbor who helps motivate Melody to be self-sufficient. Courtney Taylor ("Insecure") plays Katherine, an educator and post-doctoral candidate, and Michael Chernus ("Severance") has joined as Mr. Dimming, Melody's teacher and the coach of her school's trivia team.

The creative team behind Out of My Mind

"Out of My Mind" is directed by Amber Sealey ("No Man of God") from an adapted screenplay by Daniel Stiepleman ("On the Basis of Sex"). Academy Award nominee Peter Saraf ("Little Miss Sunshine") will produce the project with Dan Angel and Participant. Executive producers are Big Beach's Michael B. Clark and Alex Turtletaub, Participant's founder Jeff Skoll and Robert Kessel, along with Tom Mazza, David Calver Jones, and Brian Gott.

"I'm thrilled to tell this sophisticated, coming-of-age story that is unlike any we've seen before and to have such wonderful collaborators in Peter Saraf, Participant, Big Beach, Daniel Stiepleman and Disney," said Sealey in an official statement. "In Phoebe-Rae Taylor, we have found an amazing actress, and I can't wait for the world to meet her."

Sealey also said that she hopes "Out of My Mind" will become "an important part of disability awareness and inclusion and will expand the conversation surrounding diversity and disability."

The production team on "Out of My Mind" also includes multiple people from the cerebral palsy and AAC (augmentative and alternative communication device) community, who have been involved since the early stages of development to ensure the portrayals of disability are presented with the utmost accuracy and respect.