Watson sails to big screen
Jessica Watson. Picture: Supplied.

With the script ready to go and casting well under way, Jessica Watson says she is "thrilled" with how the much-anticipated movie based on her record- making sail around the world is progressing.

Despite filming initially set to begin on the adaptation of the sailor's bestselling book True Spirit last year, several delays have pushed production back and no news on the film has been released for several months.

But Watson, who made history at 16 as the youngest person to sail around the world solo, tells Access All Areas the ball is well and truly rolling again.

"We have finally finished the script, which took a lot longer than expected, but I don't think that's out of the ordinary at all," the 20-year-old says.

"It did take a few rewrites but we have got it to the point where I am absolutely thrilled with it. It's true to the story, it's exciting and I think it feels like it's the right time."

Last year, it was reported that producers were searching for a relatively unknown actress to take on the lead role, with more well-known actors to play Watson's parents.

While rumours were swirling that Nicole Kidman was attached to play mother Julie and names including Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe had been thrown into the ring as possibilities for her father, Watson is careful not to give much away on casting.

"There are certainly a couple of young girls we have in mind for my role, which is really exciting, and we are just waiting to fill a few more roles," she says.

"Every couple of days something else happens and someone else is going to be part of it. We are hoping to lock down a few bigger names for some of the key roles as well."

Though she was initially happy watching from the sidelines, Watson has found herself taking a more active role with the film as production ramps up.

As a consultant, she has been working closely with the screenwriters to ensure the script is authentic.

"It's really important because, at first I was kind of like 'I'll be happy with whatever they do with it because they are the experts', but I realised as it went along that it has to be accurate to sailing," Watson explains.

"I can't watch a film that I know something about and go 'Oh my God, don't put the rope around the rig that way'. It's important to have an input and I'm looking forward to working on those things with the team. I am learning so much along the way."

True Spirit was initially slated for release this year but a new date has not been confirmed.

The West Australian

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