Michelle Williams to play first teacher in space

The actress will play Christa McAuliffe in upcoming biopic The Challenger.

Michelle Williams is set to play tragic teacher Christa McAuliffe in a new film about the 1986 space shuttle disaster.

According to Deadline, the actress will lead the cast of director Martin Zandvliet's The Challenger; a biopic which follows the true story of McAuliffe, a New Hampshire high school teacher who was selected to join NASA’s Teacher in Space Project. She was part of the astronaut crew on the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded seconds after lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, in January, 1986. All seven aboard perished in the tragedy, which was broadcast on live television.

McAuliffe would have taught classes in space during the mission, and the teacher posthumously received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

“We are more than humbled and extremely grateful for the opportunity to help tell the story of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger mission,” the film's producer, Argent Pictures' Ben Renzo, told Deadline. “Christa McAuliffe’s legacy deserves the strength, courage, experience and humanity that Michelle Williams brings to the role."

The My Week With Marilyn star will work from a script penned by screenwriter Jayson Rothwell while John and Art Linson, of Sons of Anarchy, are also signed up to produce. Production is expected to begin in May 2019.

"The entire Argent team is honoured and eager to responsibly capture and share the events and personal journeys of those surrounding this important historical moment with audiences around the world to help remember and further appreciate the sacrifices Christa and rest of the Challenger crew made to further our journey into space,” Renzo added.

Williams recently featured in Oscar-nominated flicks All the Money in the World and The Greatest Showman, and is currently starring in Venom opposite Tom Hardy, who plays the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

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