Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie has just signed to play infamous Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in a biopic entitled I, Tonya, Entertainment Weekly reports. The script was written by Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold, P.S. I Love You) and will be produced by Robbie, together with Clubhouse Pictures and LuckyChap Entertainment. As of writing, no director is attached to the project.
The news of Margot Robbie’s new role came just after American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson expressed her desire to play Harding. In an interview with People, Paulson said that she was interested in the project.
“I would like to play Tonya Harding, I’m just putting that out there. I’ve got the skating skills and the bangs and the hair. I’m really into the hair thing. Half the job is the hair. I’ve done that once before, and now I feel like it suits me,” Paulson said.
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) March 22, 2016
Tonya Harding, a two-time Olympian and figure skating champion, was banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for life in 1994 after an incident with her fellow ice skater.
In 1994, Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, asked help from a hitman to hurt figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan, who was then a favorite to win the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Shane Stant, the hitman, attacked Kerrigan when she stepped out of the arena where she was practicing in Detroit. Kerrigan was struck with a metal baton on her legs and was left with serious injuries to her tendon and quadriceps, forcing her to opt out of the competition.
With Nancy Kerrigan on the sidelines, Tonya Harding won and got her chance in the spotlight; she was able to nab a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the Lillehammer, Norway Winter Games.
To avoid prosecution and jail time, Tonya Harding plead guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers. As a result, Harding was given 500 hours of community service, a three-year probation, and was asked to pay a fine of $160,000. She was also stripped of her title and banned from participating in skating events.
Kerrigan, despite not competing in the Figure Skating Championships, was chosen as a contender for the Winter Games in Lillehammer. She won a silver medal and Harding was left in 8th place.
Tonya Harding, now 45-years-old, still insists that she didn’t have a role in the attack of Nancy Kerrigan, though she admitted that she was aware it was going to happen.
According to Deadline, Rogers wrote the script for I, Tonya based on personal interviews with Gillooly and Harding, focusing on Tonya Harding’s hard life growing up and entering a sport wherein most of the children competing come from well-to-do families.
It looks like Margot Robbie is a busy actress. She has appeared in several films recently including The Big Short, Z for Zachariah, and Focus. She also stars in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot alongside Tina Fey and will be appearing in this year’s Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn. Additionally, Robbie will also be playing Jane in the Warner Bros. movie The Legend of Tarzan. A date for the release of I, Tonya has not yet been disclosed, and the project is currently in the financing stage.
[Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]