According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emmy nominee Brian Tyree Henry has officially signed on to star opposite Ryan Destiny in MGM’s forthcoming biographical sports drama titled Flint Strong. The film will center around the story of Olympic gold medalist and boxing champion Claressa Shields.
The Atlanta alum is set to portray the role of Jason Crutchfield, Shields’ dedicated coach, who worked a cable job by day while training Shields by night. When the film was previously set up at Universal Pictures, the role was initially set to be played by Ice Cube.
Flint Strong will be directed by Rachel Morrison from a screenplay written by Barry Jenkins. It stars Ryan Destiny (Grown-ish) as Claressa Shields, a 17-year-old boxer training for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Joining her and Henry are Judy Greer and Oluniké Adeliyi.
“The film tells the true story of 17-year-old Flint Michigan native Claressa ‘T-REX’ Shields, who dreamed of becoming the first woman in history to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, only to realize that not all dreams are created equal,” reads the synopsis.
Flint Strong is being produced by Jenkins and Eisha Holmes. It is based on the 2015 documentary titled T-REX from Zachary Canepari and Drea Cooper.
This project was originally set to be filmed in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Universal Pictures decided to quietly let go of the film due to the added production costs brought by the pandemic. Now it finds a new home in MGM, which officially nabbed the rights to the project.