Roller derby diehards and grrl-power folks will be pleased to know that Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It! has finally gotten a distributor and a release date: Fox Searchlight will be unleashing it in wide release on October 9th, 2009. Drew Barrymore is also an executive producer; her production company Flower Films is behind the release.

Based on the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, Whip It! is the story of a small-town Texas gal named Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) who channels her inner bad-ass with help from a roller derby league in nearby Austin. Cross is also a derby girl from Texas; her not-to-be-messed-with nom de rink is Maggie Mayhem.

Whip It! also stars Drew Barrymore as Smashley Simpson, Juliette Lewis as Dinah Might, Kristen Wiig as Malice in Wonderland, real-life stunt woman Zoe Bell as Bloody Holly, Eve as Rosa Sparks, and many more as derby grrls throwing elbows and jeers on eight wheels. Marcia Gay Harden plays Bliss's prim 'n' proper mom.

Although some people are hard on Ellen Page and her deadpan Juno vibe, I think she will be great as Bliss and frankly, I've missed seeing her face onscreen. I have to admit to skipping Smart People, and I've yet to catch The Tracey Fragments or An American Crime on DVD. (If you've seen either, please chime in! I'm curious about An American Crime, especially given the brutal nature of the story.)

So much girl power! Can audiences handle it? Judging by the screaming hordes of fans I've seen at any roller derby race I've been to, the answer is hell yes.