Based on unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is the darkly comedic tale of American figure skater Tonya Harding and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy has forever been defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived and worse-executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan.
Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Tonya Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney as her acid-tongued mother LaVona Golden, and an original screenplay by Steven Rogers, Craig Gillespie's I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding's life and career in all of its unchecked, and checkered, glory.
Today, Neon has released the first teaser trailer for I, Tonya. The movie opens in NY and LA December 8, 2017. That perfectly positions it for Oscar consideration as we quickly transition into awards season. And it looks like Margot Robbie could be going for an entirely different kind of gold than Harding. Let's just hope she doesn't decide to break her fellow actresses' legs in the process.
Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were the talk of the town back in 1994, when this scandal first broke. But being a very young Australian child, star Margot Robbie wasn't familiar with the story. And when she first read the script, she believed it to be a work of fiction. She was just three years old when Harding had Kerrigan capped at the knee, so she can be forgiven for the oversight. But perhaps that helps lend an authenticity to the woman's performance, one that is not overshadowed by any preconcieved notion of motive and intent when it comes to portraying Tonya with at least a little bit of heart and likeablility,
The story is also so bizarre it's not hard to believe it's fiction. And it has been recounted before in a couple of different TV movies and docudramas over the years. But this will be the definitive take on what happened out on that ice. On January 6th, 1994, Tonya Harding's main competition for U.S. Figure Skating, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by Shane Stant after a practice session at the Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, hired Stant to break Kerrigan's right leg so that she would be unable to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. Harding later plead guilty for conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers and received 3 years of probation, 500 hours of community service, $160,000 dollar fine, and was banned for life from U.S. Figure Skating. Robbie had this to say about reading the script for the first time.
"I didn't realize it was a true story. I thought it was complete fiction, just a wacky story. And then I found out it was all true and I was even more fascinated."
In the end, the gang failed to break Kerrigan's leg, leaving her with a substantial bruise. She still went onto compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics and earned a Silver Medal. Harding was also able to participate, coming in 6th place. You can watch all the drama unfold in the first trailer, courtesy of Neon Pictures