“Booksmart” filmmaker Olivia Wilde will direct “Perfect,” a biopic of U.S. Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug, for Riverstone Pictures and Pulse Films, the companies announced Friday.
The fact-based film will follow Strug’s heroic efforts to secure Team USA’s first gold medal at the 1996 Olympics — including completing her final vault at the Atlanta Olympics on a badly injured ankle — as well as the price she paid for her heroic efforts.
Wilde has become a hot directing talent since her directorial debut “Booksmart,” which just won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Next, she will direct, produce and star in “Don’t Worry, Darling” for New Line. She recently starred in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” which was also set during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Ronnie Sandahl (“Borg/McEnroe”) wrote the screenplay for “Perfect,” adapted from Strug and John P. Lopez’s memoir “Landing on my Feet, a Diary of Dreams.”
The film will be produced by Nik Bower for Riverstone Pictures and Thomas Benski for Pulse Films, together with Jeremy Baxter and Moss Barclay. Wilde will executive produce with Deepak Nayer, Marisa Clifford and Sandahl. CAA Media Finance, which arranged financing for the film, will broker domestic rights, with FilmNation handling international.
“This is a film about what real power looks like,” Wilde said in a statement. “It is an excruciatingly beautiful underdog story that will thrust the audience into the heart of Kerri Strug with unblinking, raw honesty. It is an epic sports movie that will deliver on all the wish-fulfillment that makes those films so thrilling to watch. At the same time, it is unlike any sports movie you have seen before.”
“Best script I’ve ever read. I worked hard to get this gig. This story is unreal,” Wilde tweeted on Friday after the announcement. “I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell it my way.”
Wilde is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and attorneys at Ziffren Brittenham. Sandahl is represented by Camille McCurry at United Agents and CAA.