The story of Flint-bred boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields is coming to the silver screen. According to Variety, actress Ryan Destiny will star in a biopic about Shields, who is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.
The film—dubbed Flint Strong—will chronicle Shields’ journey to the 2012 Summer Olympics which took place in London. The movie will delve into how her family dynamics impacted her life. It will capture how she navigated life with a father who was imprisoned and a mother who struggled with addiction and how her boxing coach and his family took her in to keep her focused. Ultimately, the film will explore how she rose from the streets of Flint to fight on a global stage and made history in the process. The movie is based on a documentary dubbed T-Rex that was released in 2015.
“The film traces her rise as an Olympic athlete from the streets of Flint to the podium in London, and the subsequent challenges and disappointments as Claressa watches fellow athletes receive recognition and endorsements while none come forward to support her, raising questions about race, class, and gender bias,” read the documentary’s description. “Agents suggest she should soften her image, but Claressa is her own person, ready to push the boundaries while fighting for another gold and a better life.”
Flint Strong is being released under Universal. The film is being directed by Rachel Morrison whose previous work includes Mudbound and Black Panther. Barry Jenkins wrote the screenplay and he will also produce the film in collaboration with Michael De Luca and Elishia Holmes.
Shields says she wants to use her journey to inspire others to take control of their own destinies. “Sometimes the things you want to do that’s best for you, other people won’t understand,” she told The Undefeated. “You can do it if you put forth 100 percent. It doesn’t matter where you’re from — you can be from a poor city or a rich city. It doesn’t matter what your parents do or how they do it. What they do shouldn’t affect how your life goes. You make the decisions for your life.”