Netflix will develop a narrative feature film about the 1999 U.S. Women’s Soccer team and their victory over China in the FIFA World Cup, the streamer announced Tuesday.
The legendary team that included Mia Hamm, Carla Overbeck, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, Briana Scurry and more will have their championship story told in a film that will go up through the nail-biting final game of the World Cup that ended in penalty kicks to break a 0-0 tie.
Netflix scored the rights to Jere Longman’s book, “The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and How It Changed The World,” in a competitive situation and has also nabbed the life rights of eight players from the team.
Liza Chasin (“Baby Driver,” “Darkest Hour,” “Love Actually”) will produce the film about the women’s soccer team through her multi-year, first-look deal with Netflix. She’ll produce alongside Ándale Productions’ Hayley Stool and Ross Greenburg Productions’ Ross Greenburg.
3dot’s Margaret Chernin will work closely with Chasin on the project. Stool optioned the book and secured life rights and will collaborate creatively on the project. The film’s executive producers are Marla Messing, Jill Mazursky and Krista Smith.
“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,” Netflix’s Tendo Nagenda, vice president of Netflix Films, said in a blog post announcing the film. “But even more important than this landmark victory itself, the ‘kick that shook the world‘ also sent long-term reverberations throughout sports that can still be felt today.”
She continued: “It dominated headlines all summer and turned Chastain, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and the rest of the ’99ers into role models. It transformed millions of new converts into soccer fans. It 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. But most importantly, it started important conversations about gender in sports – propelling women’s leagues forward all over the world, and inspiring an entire generation of young girls to dream bigger, thus paving the way for Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and so many others to aspire to represent Team USA.”
If you want to relive the glory of the Team USA victory, check out a brief highlight reel here.