Michelle Williams, who once played Marilyn Monroe, will portray another real-life tragic figure in an upcoming role.
The Oscar-nominated actress is set to star as astronaut Christa McAuliffe in “The Challenger,” a movie about the 1986 space shuttle explosion that took the life of the high school teacher and six other crew members, the showbiz trades reported Tuesday.
McAuliffe, a civilian chosen for NASA’s “Teacher In Space” program, planned to conduct experiments and lessons aboard the Challenger. But the shuttle blew up 73 seconds into the flight, horrifying a TV audience that included many schoolchildren because of McAuliffe’s education mission.
The blast was determined to be caused by a faulty part on one of the rocket boosters.
McAuliffe posthumously received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.
Williams has been nominated for an Oscar four times, including for her role as Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn.”
A rep for Williams, who stars in “Venom” opening Friday, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We are more than humbled and extremely grateful for the opportunity to help tell the story of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger mission,” producer Ben Renzo of Argent Pictures said in a statement. “Christa McAuliffe’s legacy deserves the strength, courage, experience and humanity that Michelle Williams brings to the role.”
Martin Zandvliet is directing the project, which could start filming in May.