The biographical drama from directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin centers on marathon swimmer Diana Nyad (Bening) attempting to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage. Foster plays the athlete’s coach and friend Bonnie Stoll in the movie that plays select theaters Oct. 20 and then hits the streaming platform Nov. 3 after debuting at the Telluride Film Festival earlier this month.
Nyad’s trailer shows Foster offering a dose of reality when she hears the swimmer’s plan. “That’s insane,” Foster says. “Diana, you tried that when you were 28, and you did not make it when you were 28. You’re 60.”
This leads Bening to reply, “I don’t believe in imposed limitations. The only one who gets to decide if I’m through is me.”
Nyad, which co-stars Rhys Ifans, marks the narrative film debut for directors Vasarhelyi and Chin, whose previous work includes the Oscar-winning 2018 documentary Free Solo. Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Michael Heimler, Vanessa Humphrey, Julia Cox and D. Scott Lumpkin are executive producers.
In his review for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Stephen Farber wrote that viewers “will be mesmerized by the fierce and fearless performance of Annette Bening in the title role.”
During a recent interview with THR, the directors addressed complaints from members of the swimming community over how the Cuba swim was executed. “We did our due diligence,” Vasarhelyi said. “This film is not about a record. It’s about a woman who wakes up at 60 and realizes she’s not done. And that woman has flaws.”