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7 Badass Women in History Who Need a Big Biopic, Stat

7 Badass Women in History Who Need a Big Biopic, Stat

By Megan Angelo

Female biopic development is on a tear lately: Marisa Tomei is gearing up to channel feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Elizabeth Banks just inked a deal to play tennis legend Billie Jean King. And this summer, Suffragette—about the staunch lionesses who won women the vote and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, and Carey Mulligan—will hit theaters. Is it asking too much to tack projects on these seven fascinating figures onto the list? I think not. You can send the paperwork for my producer credit to the Glamour offices...

Harriet Tubman
Why: Because how don’t we have a sprawling, Spielbergian, thousand-extra epic on the Underground Railroad’s fearless engineer yet?
The drama: Besides the 13 journeys to freedom she strategized, Tubman escaped slavery herself—twice. This kind of high-stakes stuff makes typical action movies look meh.
The star: Can't speak to what Tubman's cheekbones looked like, but Angela Bassett has the smoldering grit to kill this one.

Mother Jones
Why: The famous activist got her start in changing the world after her husband and all of her children died from yellow fever—and her dress shop was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. You can’t make this stuff up.
The drama: At the turn of the 20th century, she was branded “the most dangerous woman in America” for her work organizing mine laborers. 
The star: Jessica Chastain's face can carry all the pain.

Charlotte E. Ray
Why: Little is known about the country’s first African American female lawyer, who practiced for just a few years before being protested out of business. In my mind, that’s the perfect time frame for a TV series.
The drama: Ray allegedly pretended to be a guy to get into Howard. She worked on everything from real estate law, ostensibly taking on much-older white guys, to domestic abuse cases.
The star: Give me Tessa Thompson on the late-1800s Washington, D.C., scene, please.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Why: She basically played all the guys’ professional sports—and was great at them.
The drama: In 1934, Didrikson pitched an inning for the Philadelphia Athletics. Any good League of Their Own fan knows there are some great scenes there alone.
The star: Can Cate Blanchett throw? Because the idea of her in 1920s athletic uniforms is almost too wonderful to bear.

Helen Thomas
Why: The late, hardnosed journalist covered 11 American presidents.
The drama: Thomas was covering JFK when she went rogue on her assignment, asking newsy questions when she was supposed to be looking for a “female angle.” 
The star: Let Helen Mirren get mouthy for once.

Oprah Winfrey
Why: Because, be honest, your heart just started beating a little faster at the idea of a big, juicy Oprah movie.
The drama: I want to see the tough childhood. I want to see her '80s-fabulous rise. And I want to see her home as imagined by luxury-minded set designers.
The star: Octavia Spencer hasn’t gotten to play a true powermonger yet, and this is the perfect time.

Sonia Sotomayor
Why: Because being a Supreme Court justice is probably the least exciting part of this woman’s life. As a kid in the Bronx, she saw her neighborhood taken over by gangs. She wrote in The New York Times about Princeton’s lack of diversity while she was a student at Princeton. And she brought down drug rings and murderers in the courtrooms of Manhattan. 
The drama: See. Above.
The star: Salma Hayek has gone mostly producer on us in the past few years, but I think this is just the role to tempt her back on-screen. (And maybe Gina Rodriguez as young Sonia?)

 

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