Kari Skogland (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) has signed on to direct the feature film “Dallas Sting,” about a group of Dallas high school female soccer players who went as underdogs to a tournament in China in 1984 and, incredibly, ended up beating some of the best women’s teams in the world. Deadline broke the news.
Based on a true story, the drama is scripted by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, who previously worked together on “GLOW,” “Nurse Jackie” and this year’s Apple TV+ series “Roar.”
“In 1984, President Reagan made a concerted effort to open relations with China. China in turn invited America to send its American women’s soccer team to the first world championship it organized for women’s soccer. There was only one problem – there was no US women’s soccer team,” the source explains. “A nationwide search led officials to a league of 19-and-under Dallas high school girls who called themselves The Sting, after the recent hit Robert Redford-Paul Newman movie.”
Matthew McConaughey is on board to play the role of team coach Bill Kinder, “who had no previous experience as a football coach before forming the team – the story of how this group of passionate young women arrived in China was miraculous. And what they did against the world’s best women’s teams from China, Australia and Italy – made up of adult women who had played together for years – was nothing short of a miracle.
The feature is in development with Skydance and Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (TV’s “Supergirl”, “Batwoman”) Berlanti Schechter Productions, and a distribution deal is expected to be in place before the film enters production in the fall. Deadline previously shared that the two companies won a movie auction and acquired a never-before-seen article about the football team, in 2020. Schechter said then, “History shows how badly women have been and still are. treated globally in sport compared to their male counterparts. To see what The Sting has done with little support and no money, intertwined with how these very different young girls have come together for the love of sport and country, is something beautiful that deserves not to be lost. in history.
The United States Women’s National Team – which has since achieved Olympic and World Cup dominance in the sport – played its first game in 1985.
Skogland, who helmed the Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” has numerous TV directing credits that also include episodes of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Americans,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She’s also set to direct the “Cleopatra” pic starring Gal Gadot, replacing previously attached Patty Jenkins.
No word yet on casting for the teenage roles in “Dallas Sting.”