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Tiffany Haddish has teamed with sports content studio Game1 to tell the story of Florence Griffith Joyner, the Olympian track and field icon also known as Flo-Jo.
Haddish will star in and produce the biopic, with Game1’s co-CEOS Basil Iwanyk and Greg Economou also producing. The biopic is only the first step, however. Game1 and Haddish also plan to produce an array of companion content, including a documentary series and a podcast.
Haddish has already begun training for the role, according to Thursday’s announcement, and is under the tutelage of Joyner’s widower and former coach, Al Joyner, who is also serving as a producer and creative consultant on the biopic project.
Joyner took the sports world by storm in the 1980s thanks to being the fastest woman on the planet and a flashy style, culminating in record-setting sprints in the 100m and 200m races at the 1988 Summer Olympics. “Fast as Flo-Jo” became a catchphrase during the Go-Go Decade, even as she retired from sports a year after her wins. Joyner died at the age of 38 from an epileptic seizure. The icon was a hero to many kids, including a young Haddish.
“I am looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told,” said Haddish in a statement. “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.”
Added Joyner: “Working with Tiffany has been a great pleasure — she is incredibly dedicated, focused, and committed to portraying the spirit of Florence accurately, whose legacy of making a difference in the world will live on for generations to come. I hope that this film touches all who see it and inspires people to be the change the world so desperately needs right now!”
Melanie Clark of She Ready Productions will also serve as a producer, while Jonathan Fuhrman of Thunder Road Pictures will serve as an executive producer.
A search for a writer for the biopic is already underway. And the producers are in talks with brand and distribution partners for the documentary and podcast.
According to the announcement, the feature and related projects “will chronicle the remarkable life and untimely death of the global track and field superstar, not only showcasing Flo-Jo’s dominant and historic Olympic performances, but also her enduring impact on the entire world of sports and in the communities that needed her help and inspiration the most.”
Therese Andrews, exec vp production at Game1, is spearheading the entire array.
Haddish is coming off of starring opposite Billy Crystal in Sony’s Here Today and reprises her role as Tuca in the animated series Tuca & Bertie, which returns for a second season on Adult Swim June 13. She recently wrapped a turn opposite Nicolas Cage in Lionsgate’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
Haddish is repped by UTA, Brillstein Partners and Ziffren Brittenham.
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