Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish will be playing the historic Olympic track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner in an upcoming biopic. According to Variety, not only will Haddish star as Joyner, but she will also produce the film, which will have Joyner’s former coach and widower, Al Joyner, consulting on the project.
Haddish has been a long-time comedy presence before getting more mainstream attention when she starred in the 2017 comedy Girls Trip. More recently, she starred opposite Billy Crystal in the comedy Here Today and joined Eric André in the wild ride Bad Trip. She also is set to be in the new Paul Schrader film The Card Counter with Oscar Isaac.
What sets this new biopic apart from Haddish’s prior work is not just the fact that it is a biopic, but that it is also a particularly tragic story. Joyner, whose nickname was Flo-Jo was a beloved figure, even one Haddish said she admired as a child, though she died far too young. In 1998, at just 38 years old, she had an epileptic seizure that would take her life. To this day, the records she set in 1988 in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes remain unbroken. The film will be produced by game1, which has previously worked on the sports film Bruised, scheduled to release in 2021, with Halle Berry directing and starring as an MMA fighter.
Tiffany Haddish said of the role, “My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.”
The Florence Griffith Joyner biopic does not have a release date yet, but it will definitely be exciting to see Haddish in a more dramatic role.