Selena Gomez to Portray Pioneering Gay Mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado in New Biopic

Eric Todisco
·2 min read

Tibrina Hobson/Getty; Wikimedia Selena Gomez, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Selena Gomez is taking on a groundbreaking role in her latest project.

The singer and actress, 28, will portray gay Peruvian mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado in the upcoming biopic In the Shadow of the Mountain, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

The film is based on the upcoming memoir of the same name by Vásquez-Lavado, who became the first openly gay woman to climb the highest mountain on each continent, a challenge called the Seven Summits, in June 2018.

The memoir is expected to be published in winter 2022, while the film does not yet have a release date.

Gomez will produce the film through her July Moon Productions along with Scott Budnick's One Community and Oscar winner Donna Gigliotti's Tempesta Films. Vásquez-Lavado, 46, and Lara Love Hardin of Idea Architects are also executive producing, THR and Variety reported.

Elgin James, the writer-director of Little Birds and co-creator of FX’s Mayan’s M.C., will reportedly write and direct the film.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images Selena Gomez

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Along with also being the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest, Vásquez-Lavado is the founder of Courageous Girls, a nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. She has organized excursions for abuse survivors to the Mount Everest base.

“Silvia is a force of nature,” said Gigliotti, who won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1998's Shakespeare in Love. “Scott and I are so excited to work with Elgin and Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure and humanity.”

Said Budnick, “We are thrilled to get to work bringing Silvia’s incredible and inspiring story to life onscreen.”

Silvia-Vasquez-Lavado/Facebook Silvia-Vasquez-Lavado

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Gomez, who dropped her most recent album, Rare, in January, is set to produce and possibly star in STXfilm's upcoming psychological thriller Dollhouse. She is also slated to reprise her lead role and executive produce Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 4.

In addition, Gomez is joining the cast of Hulu's Only Murders in the Building opposite Steve Martin and Martin Short. It will mark her return to scripted TV, years after she rose to fame as the star of Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place.