Never fear, fans of “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins, you definitely don’t need to wait for almost a decade for the filmmaker to bring his talents and charms to the big screen again. On the heels of a successful festival run for his “Moonlight” (in theaters later this month!), the “Medicine for Melancholy” filmmaker has started lining up a series of new projects. First up, a limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s bestselling novel “The Underground Railroad.” After that? Another perfect fit.
Deadline reports that Jenkins has signed on pen the screenplay for a “coming-of-age drama” that is based on the life of Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, the first two-time Olympic boxing champ to hail from America. Shields’ remarkable life story has already gone the documentary route — “T-Rex: Her Fight For Gold,” directed by Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper, arrived last year — but the feature treatment was seemingly inevitable, especially after Universal Pictures picked up her life rights back in March.
The documentary “told the Rocky-esque story of a 17-year-old Flint, MI fighter who realized her dream to become the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing” and her journey “has a storybook history making finish, when Shields won gold in the middleweight class in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.” You can stand up and cheer, oh, right now.
As of now, Jenkins is only on board to script, but perhaps he’ll take up directing duties in due time. After all, he’s a filmmaker who knows his way around complicated and complex coming-of-age tales — so much of “Moonlight” is about just that — and the story of Shields can be shaped into precisely that. Check out the trailer for the documentary “T-Rex” — which is available on Netflix right now — below: