It’s just been announced that Selena Gomez will portray Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, a lesbian Peruvian mountaineer and social entrepreneur, in an upcoming film. The movie is an adaptation of the pioneer’s upcoming memoir “In the Shadow of the Mountain.”
As well as starring, Gomez will produce the film through her company July Moon Productions. Other producers include Oscar winner Donna Gigliotti (“Shakespeare in Love,” “Hidden Figures”) from Tempesta Films and Scott Budnick’s One Community. Vasquez-Lavado is also set to help executive produce. Elgin James — known for writing and directing “Little Birds,” writing “Lowriders,” and co-creating “Mayans M.C.” — is set to write and direct.
While some users on social media raised concerns about the star playing a gay character, Vasquez-Lavado took to Instagram to share an excited message about the upcoming film.
“I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10 months, that an all-star team has optioned my upcoming memoir … for a movie adaptation,” Vasquez-Lavado captioned her post. “I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant @selenagomez in taking the starring role and as producer.”
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Vasquez-Lavado is the first gay woman to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. As a survivor of sexual assault, she also founded Courageous Girls, a nonprofit that supports survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking, in 2014. Her work with survivors has been highly lauded, and she even combines her passions to offer excursions to the Mount Everest base camp for abuse survivors.
“In the Shadow of the Mountain,” Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir, is expected to be published in 2022, so it’s easy to expect the film won’t premiere until at least 2023.