Netflix scores film based on 1999 Women’s World Cup
James R | On 20, May 2020
Saturday 10th July, 1999. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. More than 90,000 fans in blistering heat, along with a record-breaking 40 million more viewers at home, witnessed Brandi Chastain of the US Women’s Soccer Team break the 0-0 tie game and score the winning penalty kick to defeat China in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Now, that summer is being recreated in a new feature film at Netflix, which has scored the rights to Jere Longman’s book The Girls of Summer: The US Women’s Soccer Team and How It Changed The World. The project will follow the 1999 US Women’s Soccer Team, following their journey to the Women’s World Cup, and their groundbreaking victory – a victory that Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and the rest of the 99-ers into role models, transformed millions of new converts into soccer fans, and led to more funding and recognition for women’s soccer around the world, including helping establish the first professional North American women’s soccer league.
“As a longtime soccer fan, I can still remember watching that groundbreaking game in Union Square. When I moved to Uganda in my teens, playing soccer was an important way to meet kids my own age (even if our balls were made up of dried banana leaves). That was also true when I left my first job in Los Angeles to take summer film classes in New York City in 1999. In between stealing shots and locations, my collaborators and I would stand outside bars to see the Women’s World Cup series. Watching the USA team that summer made me forget I had no money and little more than a dream to feed me. That team, that goal, and Brandi Chastain’s unforgettable reaction – in which she ripped off her shirt and dropped to her knees in astonishment – made me believe I could do anything, and do it my way,” wrote Tendo Nagenda, Vice President of Netflix Films, in a blog post.
3dot productions’ Liza Chasin (Darkest Hour, Baby Driver, Love Actually) will produce the film under her multi-year first look deal with Netflix, along with Ándale Productions’ Hayley Stool and 56-time Sports Emmy Award winner Ross Greenburg (Miracle) of Ross Greenburg Productions. Stool optioned the book and secured life rights to eight of the team’s players. 3dot’s Margaret Chernin will work closely with Chasin on the project. President and CEO of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Marla Messing, Jill Mazursky (David Crosby: Remember My Name) and Krista Smith will serve as executive producers.