LIFETIME GOES FOR THE GOLD WITH BIOPIC "THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY," STARRING IMANI HAKIM AND SYDNEY MIKAYLA AS THE OLYMPIC PHENOMENON;
PEABODY AWARD WINNER REGINA KING TO ALSO STAR
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist GABBY DOUGLAS to Appear in Film,
Also Featuring Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) Winner S. EPATHA MERKERSON
LOS ANGELES, CA (September 16, 2013) - Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris, Love Reign Over Me) and Sydney Mikayla (Whitney) have been cast to share the role of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas in the Lifetime Original Movie The Gabby Douglas Story (working title). Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the movie details the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon, who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African American ever to be named Individual All-round Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympics. Mikayla will portray Douglas during her childhood while Hakim will play the gold medalist as a teenager and young adult. The real-life Gabby Douglas will appear in the film, which also stars Peabody Award-winning actress Regina King (Southland, Ray) and Golden Globe(R) and Emmy(R)-winner S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order). The Gabby Douglas Story will film in Manitoba, Canada, and debut in 2014.
A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight.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 Gabby Douglas Story will be produced by Sony Pictures Television. Zev Braun and Philip Krupp (Lifetime's A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story) will serve as executive producers, with David Rosemont (Lifetime's Bonnie & Clyde) producing. Gregg Champion (The Cowboy Way, Lifetime's Amish Grace) will direct from a script written by Maria Nation (Lifetime's The Two Mr. Kissels).
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