Roller derby is in the midst of yet another kitsch-happy revival, so I guess this means it’s time for someone to try and outdo Kansas City Bomber. That person is, uh, Drew Barrymore? And her Raquel Welch is… Ellen Page?
Based on the young adult novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, Whip It will mark Barrymore’s directorial debut. Sadly, it promises to be a lot less seedier than the Welch flick. If cast (and this is just a rumor at the moment, floated by author Cross to FilmSchoolRejects), Page will play Bliss Cavendar, a misfit teen mired in a small Texas town where her beauty pageant-obsessed mother desperately wants to see her crowned Miss Blue Bonnet. But Bliss has other ideas; she’d rather whore. Years later, after she’s serviced most of the male populace of central Texas, she discovers roller derby, spiritual salvation through the teachings of Dick Gregory, and, in a series of wacky misadventures that stretch into the mountains of Tibet, the Ajanti Dagger.
Or maybe it’s more like this.
Bliss is sixteen in Cross’s novel, but she’s able to pass for older; I guess this is progress for the soon-to-be twenty-one-year-old Page. Though I’m a bit unsure about Barrymore as a director (like she won’t have an veteran crew backing her up), anything with Page in it is a must-see at this point. Whip It is set to start principal photography in March, so an official casting announcement should be forthcoming. That said, I have a feeling that Barrymore isn’t the only director courting Page at the moment; there’s plenty of time for her to get snatched away.