Selena Gomez Will Play Gay Peruvian Mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado in a New Biopic

Caroline Goldstein
·2-min read

Tibrina Hobson / Stringer, Getty Images

After releasing an album, a makeup line, and a collab with our very favorite K-pop band Blackpink this year, Selena Gomez is returning to the acting world in a pioneering new role. Gomez is slated to play Peruvian-American mountaineer and social entrepreneur Silvia Vásquez-Lavado in an upcoming biopic. Gomez will also co-produce the movie through her production company July Moon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, In The Shadow of the Mountain, will be adapted from Vásquez-Lavado’s forthcoming memoir of the same name, due out in winter 2022. Both the memoir and the movie track Vásquez-Lavado’s journey toward becoming the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest, as well as the first openly gay woman to complete the Seven Summits challenge (scaling the tallest mountain on all seven continents).

Vásquez-Lavado opened up about being played by Gomez in the upcoming biopic in an Instagram post, writing, “I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant @selenagomez in taking the starring role and as producer.”

The movie will also recount Vásquez-Lavado’s childhood as a victim of assault and neglect, and how she ultimately “found healing and power in mountaineering,” THR reports. Vásquez-Lavado later went on to found Courageous Girls, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps survivors of sexual violence.

The rest of the team behind the scenes is equally impressive. Donna Gigliotti, who won an Oscar for her work on Shakespeare in Love, will co-produce through her company Tempesta; Scott Budnick backs the film through his impact-focused co-finance company One Community; and Elgin James, who co-created Mayans F.C., has signed on as writer and director.

We’re loyal supporters of all of Gomez’s many, many pursuits, but the Wizards of Waverly Place fans in us are always especially excited for her acting projects. And this one seems appropriately challenging for her evolving acting career.