Selena Gomez is set to portray LGBTQ Peruvian-American pioneer, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado in the upcoming film, In The Shadow of the Mountain.
Vasquez-Lavado became the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest and the first openly gay woman to complete the Seven Summits, a challenge to climb the highest mountain on each continent, including Mount Everest. She is also a survivor of sexual violence.
She founded Courageous Girls, a non-profit group that helps survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. Vasquez-Lavados believed her own experiences in summiting had proven so monumental in healing her soul that she was determined to give this opportunity to other survivors. She took survivors of sexual violence to the base of Mt. Everest and helped them find their own courage, develop their own strength and grow.
Elgin James, the writer-director of Little Birds and co-creator of FX’s Mayan’s M.C., has been tapped to write and direct the film. Gomez’s production company, July Moon Productions is helming the film and Scott Budnick and award winning producer, Donna Gigliotti, also attached to produce.
Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir is expected to be published in 2022, and the film currently does not have a release date. But this could help push for more Latinx representation both in front of, and behind the scenes, something Hollywood has been struggling with for years.