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Lifetime Greenlights Gabby Douglas Biopic. Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson Attached

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 16, 2013 at 1:48PM

Lifetime (maybe the only TV network to greenlight more original movies in the last 3 years about black people, than any other TV network - even the black TV networks) has greenlit a biopic on the life of two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, tentatively titled The Gabby Douglas Story.
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Gabby Douglas

Lifetime (maybe the only TV network to greenlight more original movies in the last 3 years about black people, than any other TV network - even the black TV networks) has greenlit a biopic on the life of two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, tentatively titled The Gabby Douglas Story

The movie will follow Douglas from childhood, when she began formal gymnastics as a 6-year-old, to the present; and so 2 actresses will play her - Sydney Mikayla will be Gabby Douglas as a child, and Imani Hakim will be Gabby Douglas in her teens, eventually becoming a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions.

Regina King will play her mother, and S. Epatha Merkerson will be her grandmother.

Douglas will also appear in the film herself, which is produced by Sony Pictures TV.

From the press release description:

A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight. She won numerous state championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. While her star was fast rising in the arena, Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home and she made the difficult decision to leave her mother Natalie (King), three siblings and grandmother (Merkerson) in Virginia Beach and move to Des Moines, Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow (Brian Tee, The Wolvernine) to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it onto the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics team, with whom she faced intense competition in the London Games. Her sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-round gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates - known as "The Fierce Five" -- among the world's all-time greats in gymnastics.

The telepic will be directed by Gregg Champion (Lifetime’s Amish Grace) from a script written by Maria Nation (Lifetime’s The Two Mr. Kissels). 

Zev Braun and Philip Krupp (also Lifetime project alums) will serve as executive producers, with David Rosemont producing.

The Gabby Douglas Story will film in Manitoba, Canada, and debut in 2014. 

This article is related to: Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson, TV News


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