Diane Lane is portraying "Secretariat" owner Penny Chenery and John Malkovich is trainer Lucien Laurin.
In an era defined by a dispiriting war and a surreal Washington scandal, Secretariat gave Americans and their bruised psyche something to cheer about.
Now the race horse considered by many as the best ever and the housewife-turned-breeder who soared in a male-dominated sport are coming to the big screen.
Randall Wallace, who directed "We Were Soldiers," is directing. A fall 2010 release is expected.
Unlike the 2003 movie "Seabiscuit," "Secretariat" will focus partly on Chenery's improbable success in the old money, bourbon-sipping world of horse breeding.