A Matthew McConaughey-starring soccer movie called Dallas Sting has been suddenly canceled, just a few weeks before production was set to begin. Set in 1984, the movie was supposed to be about the true story of a girls soccer team that went to China to compete in an international tournament and went on to defeat several major teams and ultimately win the tournament, with Matthew McConaughey playing their coach Bill Kinder.
Weirdly, we don’t know exactly why the movie has been canceled, but The Hollywood Reporter says the producers and production company Skydance “received disturbing allegations surrounding aspects of the true story on which the drama was based,” and after an investigation, they decided to “pull the plug.” That could mean any number of things, so it would probably inappropriate for us to guess, but THR at least says that “a source close to the decision” says the producers “were disappointed by the development” and really felt like this story “deserved to be told,” which seems to indicate that it was a big surprise and a very bad one at that.
A Deadline story on the cancellation uses the word “misconduct” in the headline but not in the piece itself, simply noting that the allegations—whatever they were—were serious enough to convince the producers to scrap it. The Deadline story also goes deeper in the plot, saying it would’ve tied in with Ronald Reagan’s attempts to reestablish political relations with China, which led to China inviting the U.S. women’s soccer team to attend a big tournament, which led to the U.S. realizing that it didn’t have a women’s soccer team. Thus, a bunch of teenagers got called up to compete.
Kari Skogland from The Falcon And The Winter Soldier was set to direct, and Kaitlyn Dever from Booksmart and Dopesick was going to play the daughter of McConaughey’s character.