Thursday, 21 July 2016

Margot Robbie’s new ice skating drama secures a director

News arrives via Variety that Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl) is set to oversee Margot Robbie's (The Wolf Of Wall Street) 1990s ice skating biopic I, Tonya, which chronicles the saga of disgraced skater Tonya Harding and her infamous run-in with rival Nancy Kerrigan.

Harding was originally seen as a plucky underdog who rose from a rough, poverty-stricken childhood in Portland to become one of the top figure skaters in the United states. She became the first woman to complete the triple axel jump in big competitions and emerged victorious at the 1991 US Figure Skating Championships, going on to place second at the World Championships.

Then came the run up to the 1994 Winter Olympics, where Harding conspired with her then husband Jeff Gillooly to attack rival Nancy Kerrigan during qualifying rounds at the US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, part of the selection process for the American Olympic team. Gillooly and co-conspirators Shawn Eckardt and Shane Stant figured out a plan of attack and Stant clubbed Kerrigan in the right knee, looking to break her leg. But she ended up merely bruised and part of the incident was captured on camera. Despite what would become known as The Whack Heard Round The World, Kerrigan still won a place on the Olympic team. She ended up with a silver medal and Harding, consumed by the scandal, placed eighth. She was eventually banned for life. 

Screenwriter Steven Rogers will be trying to bring added insights into a bizarre chapter in winter sports history recently illuminated by an ESPN 30 For 30documentary. He has spoken to the major players in the drama, including Harding and Gillooly. 

Robbie, meanwhile, is currently on our screens in The Legend Of Tarzan, will play Harley Quinn in David Ayer's (Fury) Suicide Squad, and has just tied the knot on A. A. Milne biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin alongside Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina). There is also Terminal, a hit-man thriller with Simon Pegg (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Mike Myers (Inglourious Basterds), currently underway in Hungary.

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