Skydance is no longer moving forward with Dallas Sting, a soccer project starring Matthew McConaughey that was to be directed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s Kari Skogland.
The pulling of the plug occurs as the inspirational drama was only six weeks away from beginning production and was almost fully cast.
The feature project, set in 1984, was to tell the true story of a Dallas girls soccer team that traveled to China and, against the odds, defeated some of the best women’s teams in the world. McConaughey was to play coach Bill Kinder, who led the team to victories over Australia, Japan and China and finally Italy in the championship game.
Sources say Skydance and the producers received disturbing allegations surrounding aspects of the true story on which the drama was based. That investigation led Skydance and the producers to pull the plug, according to sources.
Skydance, which was producing with Berlanti Schechter Productions, declined to comment.
A source close to the decision noted Skydance and the producers were disappointed by the development, as they felt the story of the 1984 team and its young women deserved to be told.
Booksmart breakout Kaitlyn Dever, who recently starred in Dopesick and appears in the upcoming George Clooney-Julia Robets rom-com Ticket to Paradise, was cast as the coach’s daughter. And the production spent a considerable amount of effort and money in an extensive audition process to find actual soccer players who could then be worked with on their acting abilities.
The film, which had a script by GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, was to be set against the backdrop of President Ronald Reagan opening up relations with China. The move highlights the potential risks that could arise when telling true-life stories.