In 2012, then 17-year-old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, is the youngest woman – and one of the first women – to ever box in the Olympics. Her story was the subject of a 2015 documentary titeld “T-Rex,” which made its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin. TX.
The tri-continental effort (North America, Europe and Asia) hailed from directors Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari, who begun work on the doc in 2012, en route to a successful $64,000 crowdfunding campaign – funds that were used to complete the film. Although a major part of the film’s funding came courtesy of Independent Lens.
For the first time ever, women’s boxing was included in the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold from the U.S. was Shields, who came from the “hard knock” streets of Flint, Michigan, and went on to be undefeated as a fighter. Her coach, Jason Crutchfield, has trained her since she was an 11-year-old hanging out at his gym. Despite growing tension between her and Crutchfield, as well as with er family, as she got closer and closer to achieving her dream, a fierce and determined Claressa desperately wanted to take her family to a better, safer place, and winning a gold medal was her one big chance. And at the 2012 summer Olympics in London, women’s boxing was a first-time-ever sport, with Claressa being the youngest of all the competitors. She would eventually claim her sport in history as the youngest, and the first woman boxer to win a Gold Medal in her weight class.
Her current record stands at 62 wins, 18 of them by knockout, and just 1 loss!
Announced today, 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 which is being framed as “Rocky-esque.”
One wonders if the box office success of “Creed” was of any influence on this decision.
No director, writer or actor is attached yet. But this could be a breakout role for a young up-and-comer.
Shields’ 21st birthday is in 2 days – March 17.
Deadline was first to report the news of Universal’s acquisition.
Below watch a trailer for the documentary “T-Rex.”