Toronto: Dax Phelan Picks Up Rights to Real-Life Female-Led Aviation Tale (Exclusive)

Jennifer Murray - Getty - P 2018
Nick Harvey/WireImage

The film will tell the real-life story of Jennifer Murray, a British housewife and mother who, at 54, learned to fly when her husband bought a half share in a helicopter. A few years later, she became the first woman to pilot a helicopter around the world in a solo flight.

Producer-director Dax Phelan (Jasmine) has acquired screen rights to three autobiographical books by British aviatrix Jennifer Murray: 2003’s Now Solo, 2006’s Broken Journey and 2008’s Polar First.

Phelan will adapt the books and direct for a single film, which will center on Murray, an American-born housewife and mother who, at 54, learned to fly when her husband bought a half share in a helicopter. A few years later, she became the first woman to pilot a helicopter around the world in a solo flight.

“I’m delightfully overwhelmed by the appreciation that Dax and his team have shown toward my story,” Murray said. “I hope the film will serve as an inspiration to all that neither age nor gender is an anchor when the human spirit chooses to soar.”

Phelan served as a co-producer on Orson Welles’ long-awaited final film The Other Side of the Wind, being distributed by Netflix.

This story also appears in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 7 daily issue at the Toronto Film Festival.