Universal Pictures has acquired the life rights to a future feature film based on the rise of the youngest female boxer to win at the Olympics.
Flint, Michigan boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields was only 17 when she took home gold at the 2012 Olympics. Directors Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari decided to document the young woman’s epic rise after successfully completing a crowd-funding campaign. Their backers gave them $64,000 to make this film a reality.
The documentary film T-Rex — which inspired the fictitious film — premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and audience members were blown away by Shields’ story.
According to Deadline, “T-Rex’s journey to success is filled with conflict and triumph, not only in her sports training in distressed Flint but also the aftermath of life after fulfilling her dream. The aim is to make a popcorn sports movie with a female empowerment message in the vein of Rocky, leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London where Shields made history in the middleweight class.”
The movie has landed at the perfect time. The water and environmental issues engulfing the small city of Flint has highlighted the dangers of environmental racism in this country. Shields’ story is inspiring and uplifting.
During her career, she has had 62 wins — 18 by knockout — and just one loss in her impressive career. Now, Shields is 21 and she becomes one of the few women to have a boxing film about her life. Universal Pictures wants to create a film similar to Creed that is intended to draw in a Black audience and be a critical success.
According to Shadow and Act, “Universal Pictures has teamed with Michael De Luca Productions to acquire life rights to Claressa’s story with plans to produce a scripted feature film.”
This new project will join films like Girl Fight and Million Dollar Baby, but T-Rex could shake things up. The film will add some much-needed flavor to the women’s sports genre.
This scripted feature of Shields’ life has no one attached and is in early pre-production.
Here is a clip of the documentary: