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Rachel Morrison’s Directorial Debut ‘Flint Strong’ Casts Ryan Destiny as Claressa Shields

Ryan Destiny, who’s best known for her role in Fox’s “Star,” will play Claressa “T-Rex” Shields in Universal’s biopic “Flint Strong.”

The film marks Destiny’s first starring role in a major studio movie after her breakout role in the Lee Daniels series.

Based on Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper’s 2015 boxing documentary “T-Rex,” the story follows 17-year-old Shields, a Flint, Mich., native whose dreams of becoming the first woman in history to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing are realized at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The studio acquired Shields’ life rights and rights to the documentary in 2016.

Rachel Morrison will direct the movie, marking her feature film directorial debut. Morrison, who made history as the first female cinematographer to be nominated for an Academy Award for “Mudbound,” also served as the director of photography for “Black Panther.”

Barry Jenkins penned the screenplay. Michael De Luca will produce via his Universal-based Michael De Luca Productions alongside Jenkins and De Luca Productions’ Elishia Holmes. Canepari, Cooper and Sue Jaye Johnson will executive produce.

Universal’s senior executive VP of production Erik Baiers and creative executive Tony Ducret will oversee the project for the studio.

Popular on Variety

Destiny is repped by UTA, Dawn Irons at 717 Management and Hansen Jacobson.

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