Retired trans mixed-martial arts fighter Fallon Fox is set to have her story told on the big screen after Mark Gordon Pictures announced Tuesday that it is developing a biopic chronicling her life.
The combat sports trailblazer became the first out trans pro MMA fighter when she came out publicly in an Outsports article in 2013. The decision to do so came after a journalist threatened to out her publicly against her will after she began competing professionally. Fox endured waves of transphobic abuse from the MMA world after coming out as the sport reckoned with its first brush with trans identities. Multiple prominent UFC figures, including UFC president Dana White, deliberately misgendered her and hurled transphobic insults her way, yet Fox continued competing until her retirement due to injury in 2014.
The announcement of the film comes as more than 30 states debate legislation that targets trans girls and women that want to compete in sports as their identified gender. Fox’s experiences and perseverance speak to what the communities facing those trans-exclusionary measures are going through as those debates continue, but it also offers strength and insight.
“I’m really happy that this is in development,” Fox told Outsports. “This story needs to be told especially right now with what’s going on with all of the anti-trans legislation.”
“Fallon Fox is a remarkable woman and athlete who has withstood and achieved so much in her life and whose story is far too little known. She is a universal, living icon of strength and persistence,” producer Bonnie-Chance Roberts told Deadline.
The film is being written by husband and wife team T Cooper, who himself is trans, and Allison Glock-Cooper. The duo previously pointed the camera on trans experience in sports with the 2015 trans bodybuilding documentary Man Made.
“As transgender/LGBTQIA writers and creators, we know in our bones the inherent value in and necessity of telling stories from the inside out, rather than from the outside looking in,” the Coopers told Deadline. “We’re thrilled to be teaming with Mark Gordon Pictures to help bring Fallon’s undeniably powerful and relevant story to the screen.”