Sydney Sweeney, Christy Martin

Actress Sydney Sweeney to play boxer Christy Martin in upcoming biopic

Famed actress Sydney Sweeney will play Christy Martin, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in an upcoming biopic. The movie, directed by David Michôd, will be produced by Black Bear, and is scheduled to be filmed later this year.

“The film is about Christy as a young gay woman in small-town West Virginia in the 1990s,”said Michôd. “She came from a relatively conservative family and wasn’t allowed to be who she was, so she used boxing as a vehicle to express herself and her rage. She had to make some dangerous and fundamental compromises in her life, the most important of which was marrying an incredibly dangerous man.”

Martin, a former boxer, was the first woman to ever sign with boxing promoter Don King and also became the first female boxer to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

“Christy Martin not only legitimized female boxing, she overcame gender stereotypes, and fought through emotional, physical, and financial abuse,” Sweeney told Deadline. “I’m passionate about the fighting world, Christy’s story shines a light on her incredible rise to the top while showing the struggles of fame behind the curtains. I feel compelled to tell a story about a woman who faced so much adversity and didn’t allow it to defeat her. It’s powerful, and emotional.”

Competing from 1989 to 2012, she held the WBC female super welterweight title in 2009. Martin was the first female boxer elected to the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016 and was also elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2020, which was the first year that women were on the ballot.

In 2010, Martin’s husband made an attempt to kill her. He was subsequently found guilty of attempted second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Sweeney first gained attention in 2018 for appearing in the television series Everything Sucks! and The Handmaid’s Tale, and in the limited series Sharp Objects. In the following year, she was featured in the Quentin Tarantino-directed film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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