Actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish will portray Olympic champion Florence Griffith Joyner, perhaps better known as Flo-Jo, in an upcoming biopic.
Haddish, an Emmy winner for her performance hosting “Saturday Night Live,” said in a release that Griffith Joyner was a childhood idol of hers.
“I am looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told,” Haddish said, according to Deadline. “My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.”
Griffith Joyner won five Olympic medals and two world championship medals in the 1980s, also setting world records in the 100- and 200-meter in 1988 that still stand today. She is one of five women to win gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay at the same Olympics, though no one has done it since Flo-Jo’s 1984 performance.
With style as notable as her speed, Flo-Jo became a pop culture icon with her long fingernails and “one-legger” bodysuits, as she called them. Her outfits inspired Serena Williams’ catsuit at the Australian Open earlier this year and Beyoncé’s 2018 Halloween costume.
She died in 1998 at 38 years old following an epileptic seizure in her sleep.
Haddish, who was in the NBC sitcom “The Carmichael Show” for three seasons before breaking out as a star of the film “Girls Trip,” is also serving as one of five producers of the film, alongside Basil Iwanyk and Greg Economou of game1, the studio leading the project, and Melanie Clark of She Ready Productions.
The final producer is Al Joyner, famed track and field coach and Griffith Joyner’s widower, who has already begun training Haddish for the role.
“I am so elated to team up with game1 and Tiffany Haddish on this project,” Joyner said. “Working with Tiffany has been a great pleasure – she is incredibly dedicated, focused, and committed to portraying the spirit of Florence accurately, whose legacy of making a difference in the world will live on for generations to come. I hope that this film touches all who see it and inspires people to be the change the world so desperately needs right now.”
Haddish is also working with game1 on a documentary series and podcast related to the project, which does not yet have a name or release date.
Olympic hurdler Queen Claye (née Harrison) posted on her Instagram about the announcement, excited and hoping to become a stunt double for the film.
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