Image Source : FILE IMAGE Kristen Stewart to portray the role of Sally Raid in upcoming show ‘The Challenger’

Hollywood actor Kristen Stewart is set to make her series debut with “The Challenger” from Amazon MGM Studios. In the series, Stewart will essay the role of Sally Ride, the astronaut and physicist who became the first American woman to fly in space, reported entertainment news outlet Deadline.

Actor Kyra Sedgwick’s Big Swing Productions developed and brought the project to Amblin and is executive producing with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and Stewart’s Nevermind production label.

“The Challenger” is based on “The New Guys”, a book written by Meredith E Bagby, who partners with actor Kyra Sedgwick and Valerie Stadler in Big Swing. They are also executive producers.

Sally Ride was the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to travel into space. In 1983, she made history as the first American woman to fly on the space shuttle, gaining instant fame. However, this joy was overshadowed three years later when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members. 

Ride subsequently became the only astronaut appointed to the Rogers Commission, a presidential panel tasked with investigating the disaster. She identified the issue with the O-rings, which stiffened in low temperatures and ultimately caused the explosion. Ride passed away from cancer at the age of 61 in 2012.

Stewart will take on the role of executive producer for “The Challenger,” with Sedgwick highlighting the actress’s strong interest in portraying Sally Ride’s story. Sedgwick remarked, “She has never done television, but when she read this she became obsessed with telling the story of Sally Ride from her own unique perspective that I won’t even try to paraphrase because she is so eloquent about it.” Maggie Cohn, known for her work on American Crime Story, The Staircase, and Narcos: Mexico, will be the writer and showrunner.

Kristen Stewart’s most recent appearance was in the Rose Glass-directed thriller “Love Lies Bleeding.” This neo-noir film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. In the movie, Kristen portrays Louise “Lou” Langston, a reclusive gym manager who becomes romantically involved with Jackie, an up-and-coming bodybuilder. The story revolves around their relationship as they become entangled in organised crime, with the ambitious bodybuilder committing a series of murders. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. 

(with PTI inputs)

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