First she circled the world on a sailing boat alone, then she returned to a hero's welcome by the Prime Minister and thousands of cheering fans, then she turned seventeen.
Jessica at the helm
After that was the book, she became Young Australian of the Year 2011, and lent her name to many good causes. Now her short life is to be made into a major movie.
Watson, who was 16 when she became the youngest woman to unofficially circumnavigate the globe solo and unassisted, will be immortalised on film in True Spirit, due for release late 2013. T
American producer David Brookwell said he had been looking out for another 'inspirational family film' to make and had followed Watson’s dangerous journey with interest from afar. He said the net would be cast far and wide to find a young Australian to play Watson, with the role most likely to go to an unknown actor.
'There are not a whole lot of big movie stars that could play her, so there is an opportunity to find somebody new,' Brookwell said.
'We might find the next Sandra Bullock at the age of 14. But we are looking for an Australian girl.'
Brookwell said the movie would focus on the inspirational aspects of the voyage and was a chance to redress some of the controversy surrounding the trip. At the time Watson came in for criticism for being too young and inexperienced for such a monumental undertaking and her parents blasted for allowing her to make the trip.
'It’s really important to understand the preparation of her voyage because there was so much on the negative side and I don’t think the critics fully understood what she did and the fact that Jessica really drove this project – it was hers,' says Brookwell.
'Her parents were not living vicariously through her. The clear message here is that if you have a dream and work hard at it, you can make that happen.'