The woman responsible for one of the most inspirational and enduring moments from any Olympics in modern memory is getting a well-deserved biopic.
That woman is Kerri Strug, the “Magnificent Seven” gymnast who heroically landed a vault on an injured ankle to secure team gold for the United States in 1996. The movie will be called “Perfect,” and it’s adapted from the 1998 memoir Strug co-wrote with John Lopez about her life before and after that incredible Olympic moment.
The screenplay was penned by Swedish writer Ronnie Sandahl, who wrote 2017’s “Borg vs. McEnroe.” Director and actress Olivia Wilde, who helmed last year’s breakout hit “Booksmart,” is set to direct, and she called Sandhal’s script the “best script I’ve ever read.”
Best script I’ve ever read. I worked hard to get this gig. This story is unreal. 🤯. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell it my way. https://t.co/D5ANkLpLdA
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) February 14, 2020
The project was announced in February, and Searchlight Pictures secured the rights to the future film on Tuesday.
There have been precious few female-led sports biopics over the years. The most notable are “I, Tonya,” the story of controversial figure skater Tonya Harding, and “Soul Surfer,” about surfer Bethany Hamilton’s journey back to the water after losing her arm in a shark attack. There are others, but none have been structured around a woman’s transformational sports moment — women in most sports biopics are often limited to the role of supportive wife or mother.
Wilde and Sandhal aim to change that. Following the triumph of “Booksmart,” Wilde has become one of the most in-demand directors in Hollywood, and she’s interested in doing something that most directors aren’t: telling women’s stories.
Kerri Strug’s triumphant Olympic moment inspired thousands of young girls to take up gymnastics; hopefully Wilde and Sandhal’s “Perfect” will do the same.
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