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February 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 41, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Can Jennifer Lawrence Turn Freediving Into a Blockbuster ?

from the February, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The Oscar-winning actress is reportedly set to star in The Dive, a film produced by James Cameron about a husband-and-wife team of free divers, their record-breaking dives, and the tragedy that ended it all. Lawrence, 24, will star as Audrey Mestre, a French marine biologist and scuba diving enthusiast who became interested in free diving in the mid-'90s. She trained under, and later married, the legendary free diver Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras. In November 2002, while attempting to break the world-record dive of 531 feet set earlier by her husband, Mestre encountered an issue with a lift balloon during her ascent off Bayahibe Beach in the Dominican Republic. Pulled from the water nine minutes later, efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful. She was 28.

Two books have since emerged in the wake of the tragedy. One is by Carlos Serra, co-organizer of Mestre's fatal dive, called The Last Attempt, which faults Ferreras for Mestre's death. The other is by Ferreras himself, called The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession, which details Mestre's life. While it's unclear which story the film will adapt, the fact that Cameron filmed Ferreras' record-breaking tribute dive to Mestre in 2003 favors the latter.

Cameron had been working on the film for years, but he won't direct it himself due to his commitments to Avatar sequels. So while he'll stay on as producer, he passed directing responsibilities to Francis Lawrence -- who helmed the last two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, which made Jennifer Lawrence a star. Filming is reported to start at the end of this year.

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