Titled “Iron Mike,” the series reunites several key players from the Oscar-winning film “I, Tonya.” Steven Rogers, who wrote the film, created “Iron Mike” and serves as executive producer. Craig Gillespie, who directed the film, will direct and executive produce the series. “I, Tonya” star Margot Robbie will executive produce under the LuckyChap Entertainment banner along with Tom Ackerley and Brett Hedblom.
Karin Gist will serve as showrunner and executive produce via The Gist of It along with Claire Brown. Gist was most recently the showrunner on ABC’s “Mixed-ish” and was previously the showrunner on Fox’s “Star.” Her other credits include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Revenge,” and “House of Lies.” Clubhouse Pictures’ Bryan Unkeless and Scott Morgan will also executive produce the show, as will Entertainment 360’s Darin Friedman. 20th Television, where Gist is under an overall deal, will produce “Iron Mike.”
The series is said to explore the wild, tragic and controversial life and career of Tyson, a former boxing heavyweight champion and one of the most polarizing figures in sports culture. Hulu has ordered eight episodes. Tyson is not involved in the production of the show.
Tyson made worldwide headlines when he became the youngest ever heavyweight champion in boxing history in 1986 at the age of 20. He remained a major force in boxing for years and is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time. But his life outside the ring attracted perhaps even more attention, with Tyson becoming infamous for his wild exploits. He was also accused of serious mental and physical abuse by his wife, Robin Givens, and was convicted of rape in 1992, ultimately serving less than three years in prison.
He has made a comeback of sorts in recent years, appearing in projects like “The Hangover” film franchise as himself and performing in a one man show on Broadway. Most recently, Tyson fought an eight round exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. in November, which ended in a draw.
LuckyChap previously produced “I, Tonya,” in which Robbie starred as figure skater Tonya Harding. They also produced the film “Promising Young Woman” and are producing “Barbie,” which will star Robbie as a live-action version of the iconic doll. On the TV side, LuckyChap produces the Hulu series “Dollface” and the upcoming Netflix series “Maid.” Variety exclusively reported in December that the company has signed a first-look TV deal with Amazon.
“Iron Mike” marks Rogers’ first TV writing credit. In addition to “I, Tonya,” he is known for writing features such as “PS I Love You” “Stepmom,” and “Kate and Leopold.” Gillespie has previously directed television, helming multiple episodes of the Showtime series “United States of Tara.” His other film directing credits include “Million Dollar Arm,” “The Finest Hours,” and “Lars and the Real Girl.”
LuckyChap is repped by CAA, Management 360, attorney Jeff Bernstein, and Narrative. Gist is repped by ICM, 3 Arts Entertainment, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Rogers is repped by Gersh and Kaplan / Perrone Entertainment. Gillespie is repped by UTA, Management 360, and Sloane Offer.