“Black Panther” and “Dope” cinematographer Rachel Morrison is making the jump to feature directing. After COVID-19 led to the production of her upcoming film “Flint Strong” pausing for a good chunk of time, it’s finally resuming and has added a high-profile actor to the cast.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that “Atlanta” star Brian Tyree Henry has replaced Ice Cube in Morrison’s boxing drama. It will explore the true story of 17-year-old Flint, Michigan native Claressa “T-REX” Shields, who dreamed of becoming the first woman in history to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, only to realize that not all dreams are created equal.
The film is an adaptation of the 2015 documentary “T-REX” by Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper.
Henry plays boxing coach Jason Crutchfield in the drama with Ryan Destiny portraying T-Rex. Oluniké Adeliyi (“The Porter”) is still in the role of Claressa’s mother, Jackie Shields.
The actor has been moving between big films like “Eternals” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” while also taking on weirder projects like the Brad Pitt bubblegum action pic “Bullet Train.” He also stars opposite Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence in A24’s untitled feature from director Lila Neugebauer.
“Flint Strong” marks the famed cinematographer’s first entry into feature films but Morrison isn’t a stranger to directing. She has previously worked in the world of television with directing credits that include “Quantico,” “American Crime,” “The Morning Show,” and “Hightown.”
MGM has taken over the film after Universal quietly dropped it during the filming hiatus and has Barry Jenkins as part of the producing team.