Domestic Rights To Film About Tonya Harding Scandal Purchased; Margot Robbie Stars
Indie label Neon and 30WEST have "nabbed domestic rights to 'I, TONYA,' a dark comedy about Olympic skater TONYA HARDING," according to Brent Lang of VARIETY. The deal was signed in the $5M range "out of the Toronto Film Festival, where the film premiered over the weekend." The "big draw here is star MARGOT ROBBIE, who plays Harding," and there has been some "chatter that Robbie could end up in the awards race." Netflix, CBS Films and Annapurna had "kicked the tires on the picture at various points in a bidding process that never got as hot as the agents and producers thought it would." Lang noted Neon's “BORG/MCENROE,” with SHIA LABEOUF as JOHN MCENROE, opened the festival (VARIETY.com, 9/11). DEADLINE.com's Anthony D'Alessandro wrote "I, Tonya" was "one of the more refreshing pieces of cinema" from the festival. Screenwriter STEVEN ROGERS wrote the script "based off interviews" with Harding and her husband JEFF GILLOOLY (DEADLINE.com, 9/9).
REVIEWS ARE IN: In L.A., Mark Olsen wrote the movie "finds unforeseen nuance in a story that many might assume they already know too well." The film’s "unusual tone finds plenty of wicked humor in the story but explores a deep, unexpected sense of pathos as Harding was rejected by the establishment of figure skating for her working-class background and hard-charging style." The U.S. rights to the movie were initially acquired by Miramax in '16, but had been "put back on the market at the festival" (LATIMES.com, 9/9). VARIETY's Owen Gleiberman wrote "I, Tonya" is a "fresh, chancy, and wickedly enjoyable movie." The film "revels in the sheer woeful ghastly comic horror of what went on during the lead-up" to the '94 Lillehammer Games (VARIETY.com, 9/9). BUSINESS INSIDER's Jason Guerrasio wrote, "If there’s one knock on the movie, the poor CGI for the skating scenes makes it obvious Robbie isn't doing most of the skating" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 9/9).