Ellen Page to whip it in a ‘Derby Girl’ adaptation?

derbygirl.JPGHot on the heels of her breakout success as Juno, the wise ass preggers girl, actress Ellen Page could be following that up with a role in the Drew Barrymore-directed flick Whip It. Unfortunately, it’s not a Devo musical biopic, which I know we were all hoping for given Hollywood’s propensity for them these days.

Instead, Barrymore’s Flower Power Production company or whatever the hell it’s called has based the story on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross.

So let’s add it up. Teenage chicks in Texas getting all nasty on each other at the roller derby? Yes please.

Cross recently sat down with the guys over at Film School Rejects to talk about the project.

A book by a first-time writer is a hard thing to market, so the title has to sum it up fast, hence Derby Girl.

But movies have trailers and posters and all kinds of marketing around them, so a mysterious title can work better. So, Derby Girl became Whip It because, as any derby girl worth her Reidells knows, the whip is a signature move in roller derby.

As for that Ellen Page casting rumor? Well, it’s just rumor for now. According to cross the production, if it goes forward (you know with the writer’s strike and all those shenanigans), is targeting a certain actress who’s name ryhmes with “Schmellen Schmage.” Very clever ruse. Very clever indeed.

So why does Ellen Page, er I mean Schmellen Schmage seem like a good casting choice?

Like my lead character, Bliss, I grew up just outside Austin and was a
pretty precocious teen, full of sarcasm and wit and hijinks (as were my friends, most of whom were older). But I was also really sensitive, hiding that vulnerability with humor.

And, of course, I play roller derby. But if I had found it when I was 16, I would have done it in a heartbeat ? even if I had to lie about my age (like Bliss does).

My mom did not push me into beauty pageants, but I grew up with those girls and it always fascinated/creeped me out.

The juxtaposition of the beauty pageant world and the roller derby world was really fascinating to me because they both represent two extreme ideas of femininity.

One is about perfectly coifed physical perfection, but when you look closer, it?s actually kind of brutal, I think. While the other is anarchy and bruises, and yet, it?s the most female-empowering thing I?ve ever experienced. It?s like plastic sexy versus real sexy.

At this moment no one does sexy and wiseass quite like Ms. Page.


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  • Hell on Wheels January 15, 2008, 9:37 pm

    For a primer on how the modern era of roller derby got started, see the documentary ?Hell on Wheels.? It?s currently screening at fests across the globe (and you can see ?Whip It? writer Shauna Cross in the background when the LA Derby Dolls founders are on screen). http://www.HellOnWheelsTheMovie.com