Netflix is developing a biopic on Aussie Jessica Watson – the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world

Jessica Watson

Netflix is developing a new film about Australian Jessica Watson who, at just 16, became the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the globe.

Watson set sail in October 2009, spending 210 days on the seas before touching down in Sydney Harbour in May 2010. During her time at sea, Watson also self-filmed a documentary “210 days” which was narrated by none other than Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson.

In 2011 Watson was named Young Australian of the Year and named an Order of Australia Medal a year later both for her service to sailing and being a role model for young Aussies.

The new Netflix film will be based on Watson’s memoir “True Spirit”. It’s directed by Sarah Spillane of “Around the Block”, with executive producer Shahen Mekertichian from “Lion” and producer Debra Martin Chase from “The Princess Diaries”, also on board.

“It’s quite humbling to have Netflix bring my story to life,” Watson said in a statement. “I hope that the film inspires people around the world to try sailing and to also pursue their own adventures.”

Netflix’s first Australian original TV series was “Tidelands” starring Elsa Pataky. It also has a string of other Aussie originals including “Extreme Engagement”, “Hannah Gadsby: Nanette”, “Hannah Gadsby: Douglas”, “Lunatics”, “Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure: Season 3” and “The White Rabbit Project.”

The streaming giant has also invested in co-productions with free-to-air broadcasters, such as “Glitch” (seasons 2 and 3), “Pacific Heat” and “Stateless”.

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