The Fact-Based Rocky-esque Women’s Soccer Movie Dallas Sting It was abruptly canceled six weeks after production began. Full details aren’t forthcoming yet, but the pic has been canceled due to an infraction reported to Skydance and the producers. After investigation, the allegations were serious enough to get them to withdraw from the film.
Also missing will be Matthew McConaughey, who was due to play the starring role as coach for a group of high school girls in Dallas who headed to China in 1984 and beat some of the top women’s teams from China, Australia and Italy. Kaitlyn Dever is set to play the coach’s daughter.
This was the making of a truly inspiring sports movie, and I understand Skydance’s production heads and producers are saddened to let this movie go. But the tight schedule and allegations left them little choice. Kari Skogland has been appointed to direct the film, which was developed by Skydance and Berlanti Schechter Productions. Skydance was financing. Apple, which has a blanket deal with Skydance, has given an initial look at the film, but it’s unclear if any commitment has been made by the streaming device.
Production was scheduled to begin in October in New Orleans. Skydance and Berlanti Schechter won an auction for the rights to an unpublished article by Flinder Boyd, which has been turned into text by Liz Flahave and Carly Minch (radiate).
McConaughey had signed on to play Bill Kinder, the coach who led a Texas ragtag group to the fate of Rocky Eske, long before the US women’s national team won Olympic and World Cup dominance.
In 1984, President Reagan made a concerted effort to open relations with China. China, in turn, invited the United States to send its American team to its first women’s soccer world championship. There was only one problem – there was no American women’s soccer team. A nationwide search led officials to a 19-and-under Dallas high school league that called themselves The Sting, after the hugely successful Robert Redford-Paul Newman film. Led by Kinder – who had no previous football coaching experience before the team was formed – the story of the arrival of this eager group of young women to China was a miracle. And what they did against the best women’s teams in the world from China, Australia and Italy – made up of mature women who have played together for years – was nothing short of miraculous.
For the team to form nearly 40 years ago, Kinder had to get a note from a gynecologist assuring that playing football wouldn’t harm a woman’s reproductive organs. Soon the Texan parents who envisioned their daughters waving vines in the first half became the cheerleaders for this eclectic mix of girls meticulously drilled by a Lombardi-like coach, and they became a local force. Then they beat bureaucracy just to make the trip, rising to the occasion despite being underdogs against the dominant international teams. All this led by a coach so secure at The Sting that he paid $85,000 on his credit cards for non-refundable tickets to ensure the team made it to China, where many predicted they would lose out hard.
Unfortunately, this police hopes that the inspiring tale of female championship footballers will be immortalized on screen. No comment from school administrators at this moment in time.
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