• Margot Robbie will play disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. (AAP)Source: AAP
Story of disgraced skater is becoming an Australian affair, with director Gillespie joining star Robbie.

15 Jun 2016 - 1:10 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2016 - 1:10 PM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - 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.


Though Robbie is set to star in two of the northern 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'.

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

From 'The Movie Show' archives: Craig Gillespie talks 'Lars and the Real Girl'

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