Director Craig Gillespie has been in the film business for decades, but only in recent years has he seemingly stumbled onto his calling: lively retellings of “stranger than fiction” real-world stories. The kind of tales that grabbed the front pages of tabloids and newspapers alike seem to be up his alley. For years, Gillespie was a journeyman filmmaker with some acclaimed titles under his belt (namely Lars and the Real Girl) but was largely most well-known for being a go-to director for Disney movies. Between Fright Night, Million Dollar Arm, The Finest Hours, and Cruella, he could deliver it all. However, I, Tonya in 2017 provided Gillespie with his most acclaimed enterprise to date, and he found a new calling. It was time to embrace stories about unbelievable human behavior, usually with a crime element in tow.
Between ‘I, Tonya,’ and ‘Pam & Tommy,’ Craig Gillespie is no stranger to adapting true stories. So what happened here?