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Claressa Shields film “Flint Strong” casts Brian Tyree Henry in key role

No, he’s not playing Claressa Shields

Premiere Of The 3rd Season Of FX’s “Atlanta” - Red Carpet
Brian Tyree Henry at the premiere of Season 3 of “Atlanta”
Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

“Flint Strong,” an upcoming feature film about the rise of celebrated boxer Claressa Shields, has added Brian Tyree Henry to the cast. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Henry will play the role of Jason Crutchfield, the coach who first met Shields an eleven year old and helped guide her to two Olympic gold medals as an amateur and 11 major belts as a professional.

Crutchfield coached Shields at night after working his full-time job, often housing and feeding Shields as the teenager struggled to navigate life with an incarcerated father and a mother fighting addiction. He has coached Shields to Olympic gold at the age of 17, a 64-1 amateur record, and an undefeated pro boxing career.

Henry is known for high profile performances as Paper Boi in the FX television series “Atlanta” and Phastos in the Marvel superhero film “Eternals.” He takes over the role of Crutchfield from notable actor, rapper, and puppet magician Ice Cube, who acted in the film for just two days before COVID forced a stop to production back in March 2020.

“Flint Strong” is the directorial debut of Rachel Morrison, an Academy Award nominated cinematographer known for shooting “Black Panther,” “Mudbound,” “Fruitvale Station,” and “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.”

The script comes from Barry Jenkins, Academy Award winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Moonlight.” “Flint Strong” is based on the 2015 documentary “T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold.”

Production of “Flint Strong” resumes next week in Toronto, and no release date has been specified yet.