Skydance and Berlanti Schechter Productions were set to produce a soccer film, Dallas Sting, with Kari Skogland (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) directing the project and Matthew McConaughey starring in the lead role. However, Skydance and the producers of the feature have decided to scrap the picture as “disturbing allegations surrounding aspects of the true story on which the drama was based” have come to light.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Skydance had received allegations of impropriety surrounding the story and the studio’s investigations revealed the allegations were strong enough to warrant cancelling the film. Also pulling out of the project is McConaughey, who was set to play the lead role of the coach of a group of Dallas high school girls who travelled to China in 1984 to compete with some of the best women’s soccer teams from around the world. Details as regards the decision are not currently available with Skydance declining to comment on the aforementioned report.
Dallas Sting was set to tell a truly inspirational sports story. The feature was set to tell the tale of a team of Dallas high school girls who were invited to compete in a women’s soccer tournament in 1984. The team’s invitation to China came as a result of a political move made by China to improve bilateral relations with the United States under the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The invitation was accepted by the US but the first challenge to emerge was at the time, there was no U.S Women’s Soccer Team. The team from Dallas was selected after a nationwide search and when they left for China, they were massive underdogs expected to lose.
The team would, however, manage to make their way to China with their coach Bill Kinder charging $85,000 on his credit cards for non-refundable tickets to ensure the team got to the tournament and compete – and compete they did. Pitched against more experienced international teams – The Sting, as they were known – in a run to the championship game against Italy, they beat Australia, Japan, and China enroute to the final game.
Sadly, the recent development puts a pin in the works of this inspirational tale being told. Production was meant to begin this October in New Orleans with the script for the film created off an unpublished article written by Kinder. Skydance is said to be disappointed that the story will not be told as it returns us to a time when the U.S Women’s Soccer Team weren’t the dominant force they now are but yet still prevailed.
Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.