Craig Gillespie to Direct Tonya Harding Biopic Starring Margot Robbie (EXCLUSIVE)

Craig Gillespie
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Craig Gillespie is on board to direct “I, Tonya,” the biopic about Tonya Harding with Margot Robbie attached to play the disgraced figure skater.

The film is being produced by Bryan Unkeless and his Clubhouse Pictures. Robbie is also involved in producing through her LuckyChap Entertainment banner. Steven Rogers is penning the script and is also producing.

Harding rose as one of the world’s top figure skaters after she became the first woman to complete the triple axel move in major competitions, eventually leading her to victory in the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding’s stay at the top would not last long, however, as jealously led her to conspire to have her main competition, Nancy Kerrigan, injured prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics.

During a practice round at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Harding’s husband, Jeff Gillooly, and a group of thugs attacked Kerrigan after her training session, attempting to break her leg. The plan failed, as the men were arrested and Kerrigan only sustained a bruised knee. During Gillooly’s interrogation, he explained how it was his wife’s idea all along.

Kerrigan would go on to compete at the Olympics, winning the silver medal while Harding ended up in eighth place. Following the Olympics, Harding would admit to the conspiracy and, while she never served any jail time, the USFSA stripped Harding of her 1994 championship title and banned her for life.

The story has never been turned into a movie, but in a recent “30 for 30” piece for ESPN, Harding told her side of the story and spurred an interest in the subject. With Robbie and Gillespie now attached to the spec, plenty of suitors are sure to head for the project in the coming weeks.

UTA and CAA are repping the film.

Though Robbie is set to star in two of the summer’s biggest tentpoles — “Legend of Tarzan” and “Suicide Squad” — she has begun to choose roles that are less blockbuster-based. Besides “I, Tonya,” Robbie is also set to star in the Fox Searchlight biopic “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” where she will play the wife of author A.A. Milne, who created “Winnie the Pooh.”

Gillespie broke out with “Lars and the Real Girl.” Other past credits for Gillespie include “Million Dollar Arm” and “The Finest Hours.”

He is repped by UTA and Management 360.

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  1. Pinter says:

    As is often the case with biopics, the actor playing the role is far more attractive than the real person. Tonya Harding should be flattered Margot Robbie is playing her.

  2. Jan DeKnock says:

    There are errors in this story. Harding was not the first skater to complete a triple axel in a major competition; she was the first U.S. woman to do so. And Harding’s husband was not in Detroit for the attack; he was back in Oregon and arrested later.

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