Margot Robbie will be directed in I,Tonya by Craig Gillespie

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 June 2016
Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie will be directed by Craig Gillespie in Tonya Harding biopic 'I,Tonya'

Tonya Harding biopic 'I,Tonya' has got a director.

Margot Robbie has been cast as the disgraced professional ice skater and Craig Gillespie has been handed the job of working with her and helming the project.

The real life story of Harding saw her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt hire a man to try and break her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan's right leg at the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit in an attempt to stop her competing at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

The blow - which was struck above Kerrigan's right knee - did not result in a breakage, but Kerrigan was left with a severely bruised leg and had to quit the national competition, which Harding went on to win.

The attack caused a media frenzy that was known as 'The Whack Heard Around The World'.

Kerrigan went on to compete at the Winter Olympics where she won a Silver Medal, whereas Harding finished eighth.

The assailant, Shane Stant, was paid $6,500 to carry out the attack and was subsequently caught by police and his testimony led to the arrest of Gillooly and Eckhardt, who both served prison time.

Harding was also arrested and given a lifetime ban from the sport by the US Figure Skating Association in 1994. Although the investigation revealed Harding knew of the attack before it took place she avoided jail time by pleading guilty to conspiring.

The infamous story is going to be adapted for the cinema by screenwriter Steven Rogers and has been doing months of research and has spoken to the major players in the drama, including Harding and Gillooly.

The movie is just the latest role for Robbie, who has become one of Hollywood's most in-demand actresses since she appeared opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.

The 25-year-old Australian star will next be seen in 'The Legend of Tarzan' and then as DC Comics villain Harley Quinn in 'Suicide Squad'.

Robbie has also signed up to appear in A. A. Milne biopic 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' and 'Terminal', in which she will appear alongside Simon Pegg and Mike Myers.

I, Tonya

  • 3 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 2h
  • 15
  • Directed by: Craig Gillespie
  • Cast: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser
  • UK release: 23 February 2018

Sympathetic but blackly funny biopic of disgraced American skater Tonya Harding (Robbie), who suffered violent abuse from a young age and strove to get recognition in a sport that didn’t welcome her. Robbie does affecting, impressive and Oscar-nominated work and Janney revels in viciousness as Tonya’s awful mum LaVona.

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