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The O.J. Simpson trial wasn’t the only incident involving a one-time athlete to shock America in the 1990s. There was also the story of Tonya Harding, the international figure skater banned from the sport over an attack on her Olympic rival.

Deadline is reporting that Margot Robbie, most recently seen in Whisky Tango Foxtrot and Wolf of Wall Street, has signed to portray Harding in new movie I, Tonya.

The script has been penned by Steven Rogers (Christmas with the Coopers, Stepmom), but is so far lacking a director, a situation Robbie hopes to solve by attaching her name to the project.

Other details about the film are unclear at the moment, but Deadline notes the details of Tonya’s life could yield a story of crazed ambition as deranged and compelling as To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman.

The seeds are all there: Harding grew up against all odds in Portland, Oregon to become a two-time Olympian, and, in 1991, the first American woman to land a Triple Axel in competition.

That all changed in 1994 at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, however, when her ex-husband and bodyguard hired a thug to break the leg of her main Olympic rival, Nancy Kerrigan. Kerrigan was not hurt and went on to win silver in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics seven weeks later, but Harding’s involvement meant she was stripped of her medal and banned from the sport for life. Nor did it end there. Harding released a tell-all book and appeared on shows like Celebrity Boxing, before suffering the added ignominy of her fall from grace being set to music in unauthorized comedy musical Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera.

This movie sounds like it’ll treat the story with a little more empathy. It’s called I, Tonya, for a start, and was written by Rogers after he conducted extensive interviews with Harding and her now ex-husband Jeff Gillooly.

No word yet on who’ll play Kerrigan. But with Robbie playing Harding, whose looks were often compared unfavorably with those of her rival, whoever it is will have a lot to live up to.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.