New Line Cinema has optioned the inspirational true story of ballet prodigy Misty Copeland,
who fought against the odds to become the only the second African-American female soloist to
dance with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Offspring Entertainment’s Adam Shankman
and Jennifer Gibgot alongside Phil Sandhaus will produce the feature film adapted from Copeland’s
bestselling memoir Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, which Stephanie Allain and Lenore Kletter
are set to script.The film will chronicle Copeland’s striking rise to dance stardom. The late bloomer
began training in ballet at age 13 while living in a welfare motel with her mother and siblings, learning
so quickly she was dancing en pointe within months. She went from lessons at the local Boys & Girls
Club to living part-time with a sponsor family while attending dance school. But as her ballet career
escalated, so did a bitter custody battle between her mother and her host family.
Copeland has performed with Prince at Madison Square Garden, serves on President Obama’s fitness
council, and appeared as a guest judge this season on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. Next month
she will make history again as the first African-American ballerina to dance lead in ABT’s Swan Lake.
She co-wrote her memoir Life In Motion with author Charisse Jones, which burned up the NYT bestseller
list after hitting shelves in March, and will work with producers as a consultant. The film will focus on
Copeland from age 13 to late teens, and filmmakers will be searching for a multi-talented young performer
with dance training to play the prima ballerina. The project also has meaty roles for two actresses to play
Copeland’s mother and mentor.