Amblin Partners has acquired feature film rights to the life story of Jutta Kleinschmidt—the first and only woman to win the brutal off-road endurance race The Dakar Rally—as well as rights to her self-penned book, My Victory at Dakar.
Kleinschmidt, who was born in Germany, bought her first motorcycle at age 18. After studying physics, she worked at BMW for six years before quitting in 1992 to pursue her passion of motorsports. In 1997 she became the first woman ever to win a stage of the rally and, in 1999, she earned recognition—finishing third overall—as half of the first all-female team to stand on the winners’ podium. In 2001, after 15 years of trying, Kleinschmidt won the fabled race and wrote herself into the history books.
87North principals Kelly McCormick (producer of Atomic Blonde, the upcoming Universal film Nobody, Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) and David Leitch (director of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde; co-director and producer of John Wick) brought the project to the studio and will produce, along with David Kaufmann (special advisor to production on both Moneyball and 42), who first conceived of the project, under his Devonsheer Media banner.
The script will be written by Greta Heinemann. Heinemann, who grew up on the Bavarian-Austrian border, just minutes from where Kleinschmidt was raised, is currently a supervising producer on Good Girls and is developing an original TV series at HBO MAX.
Annie Marter (Transcendence) will executive produce for 87North and Kleinschmidt will co-produce.
Jeb Brody, President of Production, and Mia Maniscalco, VP Creative Affairs, will oversee for Amblin Partners.
The Dakar Rally—often called the most dangerous race on the planet—is found at the intersection of impossible terrain and logistical blindness. Originating in 1978, the multi-stage race began in Paris, France and ended in Dakar, Senegal. Now, some 40 years later, the race has claimed over 70 lives and victory at Dakar remains the Everest of motorsports. The 2020 rally took place in the Saudi Arabian desert for the first time, and drivers bold enough to compete weren’t told the course until minutes before the start of each stage. With over 350 Buggies, UTVs, SUVs, trucks, cars, motorbikes and quads in competition, The Dakar Rally continues to live up to its reputation as one of the hardest, meanest and most fiercely-competed races in the world.
Kelly McCormick and David Leitch are repped by WME and Tara Kole of Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. David Kaufmann is repped by UTA and Larry Marks of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP. Jutta Kleinschmidt is repped by UTA. Greta Heinemann is repped by UTA, Bellvue Productions and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
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