She plays the dangerously loony DC Comics character Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, and now actress Margot Robbie will play another villain of sorts in an upcoming biopic of infamous Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding.
Robbie, whose performance in The Wolf of Wall Street first gained her the attention of mainstream audiences, will headline the upcoming film titled I, Tonya. The film is reportedly based on interviews with Harding herself and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, who orchestrated the 1994 attack on skater Nancy Kerrigan that was intended to end her bid for that year’s Winter Olympics.
According to Deadline, Kate & Leopold and Love the Coopers screenwriter Steven Rogers penned the script for I, Tonya, which doesn’t have a director attached at this point. Given how quickly Robbie’s star has risen in Hollywood over the last few years, her involvement will almost certainly make it easier for the project to secure financing and a director in the near future.
A two-time Olympian who won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in 1991 and placed second in the World Championships, Harding was one of the country’s most accomplished skaters in the early ’90s, and her ongoing rivalry with Kerrigan helped invigorate the sport during that period. She entered the sport’s record books in 1991 as the first American woman to complete a triple Axel jump in competition, but was unable to maintain her competitive momentum due to a series of injuries, opening the door for Kerrigan to take the spotlight.
In 1994, Kerrigan was attacked after a practice session in Detroit, and it was later determined that Harding’s former husband was involved in setting up the attack. While the investigation was still ongoing, Harding and Kerrigan went on to compete in the Winter Olympics later that year and a recovered Kerrigan won the Silver Medal, while Harding finished in eighth place. Harding was eventually prosecuted for the attack on Kerrigan and was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.
The path of Harding’s skating career — particularly the period leading up to and after the attack on Kerrigan — has been the focus of multiple documentaries over the years, including ESPN’s 2014 “30 for 30” film The Price of Gold and NBC’s Nancy & Tonya later that same year.
Robbie can currently be seen in Tina Fey’s wartime comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and can next be seen in Suicide Squad. She also stars in the upcoming adventure film The Legend of Tarzan.