After a competitive negotiation, the streaming service will adapt the American story onto the screens from Jere Longman’s book The Girls of Summer: The US Women’s Soccer Team and How It Changed The World.
Darkest Hour producer Liza Chasin, who has a first-look deal with Netflix, will produce the project via 3dot production, along with Ándale Productions’s Hayley Stool, who optioned the book and secured life rights to eight of the U.S. soccer team’s players. The producing team also includes 56-time Sports Emmy Award winner Ross Greenburg of Ross Greenburg Productions. Naturally, President and CEO of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Marla Messing, Jill Mazursky and Krista Smith will serve as executive producers.
The story follows the journey of the US Women’s Soccer team of the 1990s. In 1999, on a hot summer day in a stadium full of 93,000 fans, the team won the World Cup. in a nerve-wracking final game against China. The team captured the hearts and souls of millions around the world and effectively changed women’s sports forever. Though it wasn’t the first World Cup for the team, their journey paved the way for enhanced funding and worldwide recognition for women’s soccer, ultimately leading to the establishment of the North American women’s soccer league. The iconic image of Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt symbolizes her sealing the victory with the final penalty goal kick, putting the team in the history books.
In addition to the recent announcement, Nagenda wrote through the Netflix blog in response to the acquisition, “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.”