Nira Park and Damian Jones to produce true-life project which falls under Big Talk’s deal with Optimum/StudioCanal and Film4.

UK production outfit Big Talk Pictures (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) has optioned the true-life story of the Ascension Eagles, Britain’s most successful cheerleading squad.

Producer Damian Jones discovered the story and brought the project to Big Talk; he will produce the as-yet-untitled film with Big Talk’s Nira Park (pictured). Matthew Justice and Rachael Prior of Big Talk will be executive producers.

Daisy Donovan is writing the screenplay.

The project is the first into development under Big Talk’s new co-financing and co-production deal with Optimum/StudioCanal and Film4. The first production under the deal - Attack The Block directed by Joe Cornish - is currently shooting in London.

The film will follow the story of Shara Brice, a tenacious young woman from Texas who found herself in one of East London’s most disadvantaged and culturally diverse neighbourhoods as the newly married wife of a young vicar. She sets about transforming a group of disgruntled local kids into an elite cheerleading squad who now rank sixth in the world.

Big Talk has optioned the life rights to Shara Brice’s story, to The Ascension Eagles (a registered charity) and also one of the key founder members who is now a senior coach for the squad.

“This project is a gift,” said Nira Park. “It brings together classic fish out of water comedy elements with a unique feel-good wish fulfillment story. It’s also distinctly and brilliantly British in the great tradition of home grown movies like Billy Elliot and The Full Monty”.

“Shara’s story and that of the young people’s lives she has changed so immeasurably is crying out to be brought to the big screen, and we’re delighted to be making that happen. We can’t wait to bring this amazing story to an international audience.”

Damian Jones said: ” After learning about the origins of the Ascension Eagles and after meeting the formidable Shara Brice and her cheerleaders I knew there was an incredible story here. Once Daisy Donovan agreed to adapt it, Big Talk felt like the perfect partner for it.”

Big Talk was founded by Park in 1995. It currently has two movies in post - Paul, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and directed by Greg Mottola for Universal/Working Title with Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman and Kristen Wiig heading the cast, and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World directed by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera for Universal.

Jones’ most recent producer credits are sex&drugs&rock&roll and Adulthood.