Diane Lane to Play Penny Chenery in Disney’s ‘Secretariat’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 12, 2009) – The Hollywood news magazine Variety reported this week that actress Diane Lane will play Penny Chenery in Disney’s upcoming Secretariat, a feature film about the relationship between Chenery and the legendary 1973 Triple Crown winner.
As the official online source for information about the Thoroughbred icon, www.Secretariat.com will feature an entire new section dedicated to the latest news and information about the production and release of the film.
“Secretariat is a golden opportunity for Thoroughbred racing to reach a global audience and bring more interest to the sport,” said Mrs. Chenery, Secretariat’s esteemed owner. “All parties are excited about this project and look forward to working together to bring this incredible story to the big screen.”
The introductions of the Meadow Stable team to the Disney camp recently took place at the at the Belmont Stakes, where the champion’s Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte and exercise riders Charlie Davis and Jim Gaffney gathered for a rare public appearance at the Secretariat.com tent. Previously, Mrs. Chenery and Ms. Lane had become acquainted in an intimate conversation sharing their mutual respect and admiration and for each other.
The script, written by Mike Rich of Finding Forrester and The Rookie, tells Mrs. Chenery’s compelling story of a suburban housewife and mother’s rise to be the “first lady of racing” after taking the reins of Meadow Farm after her father fell ill. Producing through their Mayhem film label are Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, while Randall Wallace, director of We Were Soldiers and screenwriter for Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, will direct the film when shooting begins this fall.
“Diane Lane is a lovely and talented actress who makes each of her characters a real and sympathetic person,” Mrs. Chenery said. “I am honored and delighted to be portrayed by such a skillful and perceptive actress in this project. Together Disney will retell our story with warmth and intelligence. This team will make a moving film about the power and the beauty of the Thoroughbred horse and an old man’s dream.”
Turcotte said it was exciting that the film would bring Secretariat’s story to life for a new generation.
“Young people today know Secretariat’s name, but this film will show them why he was the greatest horse ever to compete in this sport,” Turcotte said. “For years now, I’ve told stories about my time with Secretariat. He gave me some of the greatest moments of my life, and I loved him. Now they won’t have to listen to me; they’ll be able to see for themselves just how special he was.”