Matthew McConaughey Movie Scrapped Weeks Before Production


A Matthew McConaughey sports drama that was set to pair the Oscar winner with former Last Man Standing star Kaitlyn Dever as his daughter was canceled at almost the last minute. Skydance, the company that co-produces the Mission: Impossible movies with Paramount, pulled the plug on Dallas Sting six weeks before cameras were set to roll. Kari Skogland, who directed episodes of Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, was hired to direct.

The movie was set in 1984 and was based on the true story of a Dallas girls’ soccer team that traveled to China and overcame impossible odds to beat the best women’s soccer teams in the world. McConaughey was cast as the coach, Bill Kinder, with Dever playing his daughter. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Skydance and the producers received “disturbing allegations” about the true story. After an investigation, Skydance and the producers decided to cancel the film.

Skydance did not comment. One source close to the production company told THR they were disappointed to cancel the movie because they thought the story of the soccer players should have been told. It is unknown what specific allegations led to the production shuttering. Berlanti Schechter Productions was producing with Skydance.

GLOW creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mesch wrote the script, which had the story of the team running parallel to President Ronald Reagan’s relationship with China. The producers reportedly spent money on an “extensive audition process” to find soccer players who could also develop acting abilities for the film. The project would have been an important step in Dever’s development as a star, following her success in Booksmart and Hulu’s Dopseick. She also plays George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ daughter in the upcoming rom-com Ticket to Paradise.

Dallas Sting would have started in 1984 when China invited the U.S. to send a women’s soccer team to play in a world championship tournament after Reagan opened relations, notes Deadline. However, the U.S. did not have a team, so there was a nationwide search for one to send. Officials found a 19-and-under team of Dallas high school girls who called themselves The Sting, with Kinder as their coach. Kinder was so sure of the team that he charged $85,000 to his credit cards for tickets to bring the girls to China. They were expected to lose, but miraculously beat teams from China, Australia, and Italy to win the championship.

Dallas Sting would also have been McConaughey’s first live-action movie in a few years. He was last seen on the big screen in 2019 when he starred in Serenity, The Beach Bum, and The Gentlemen. His most recent film was the animated hit Sing 2, which opened in December 2021. In recent months, McConaughey has made headlines for his support of his hometown Uvalde, Texas, which was the site of a mass school shooting in May.

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