EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures, home to Jurassic Park, has brought in a different kind of T-Rex, and this one can knock you out with either hand. The studio has teamed with Michael De Luca Productions to acquire life rights to frame a Rocky-esque movie on the inspiring true story of 17-year-old Claressa “T-Rex’ Shields, the Flint, MI fighter who realized her dream to become the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Her quest was captured by filmmakers Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper in the 2015 documentary T-Rex, whose rights are part of this package. The film will be produced by De Luca and Elishia Holmes. It was De Luca Films exec Holmes who championed the project and will oversee it.
T-Rex’s journey to success is filled with conflict and triumph, not only in her sports training in distressed Flint but also the aftermath of life after fulfilling her dream. The aim is to make a popcorn sports movie with a female empowerment message in the vein of Rocky, leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London where Shields made history in the middleweight class.
Canepari and Cooper are exec producing with Sue Jaye Johnson, and Erik Baiers is overseeing for the studio. The documentary T-Rex was acquired by Netflix and will air this summer. UTA brokered the deals for the filmmakers and Shields, latter of whom is also repped by Jamie Fritz of Fritz Martin Management and attorney David Fox.
Here is a snippet of the docu about Shields: