EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has acquired U.S. distribution rights to I, Tonya, the drama that has Margot Robbie set to play disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. Craig Gillespie is directing. Deadline first revealed in May that Robbie would play Harding, and the project picked up steam around AFM, when AI Film signed on to finance the Steven Rogers script. The Aussie actress might have to brush up on her figure skating moves, but there is a portion of the program here she proved adept at as the bad girl in Suicide Squad. Harding emerged from a poor upbringing and rough childhood in Portland, OR to rise to the top of the sport of figure skating with determination and athleticism that allowed her to become the first American woman to complete the triple axel in major competitions. She won the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and second in the World Championships, and was set for a showdown against fellow American skater Nancy Kerrigan. The fairy tale turned nightmarish, after Kerrigan was attacked by thugs who tried to break her leg. It turned out the culprit was Harding’s husband, who implicated his wife as he tried to stay out of jail. Kerrigan wound up winning the silver medal at that Olympics, and the completely distracted Harding finished eighth as her life was circling the drain. As the ensuing scandal unfolded, the USFSA stripped Harding of her 1994 championship and banned her for life.
Clubhouse Pictures’ Bryan Unkeless, LuckyChap’s Robbie and Tom Ackerley, and Rogers are producing, while AI’s Len Blavatnik and Aviv Giladi are exec producers. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA brokered the deal. Miramax head of film &TV Zanne Devine spearheaded it for the distributor and Rosanne Korenberg is overseeing the film for Miramax. Sierra/Affinity is selling offshore.
Miramax confirmed. Said Robbie: “The script is unbelievable, it’s unlike anything I’ve read before and I know Craig’s approach with the material and the characters will be executed brilliantly. Tom and I at LuckyChap are so grateful to partner with Bryan for what will hopefully be the first of many jobs together.”
Robbie is repped by Management 360, CAA, attorney Jeff Bernstein and Aran Michael Management. Rogers is Gersh and Gillespie is UTA and Management 360.