There are some great women's football movies out there (Bend It Like Beckham! She's the Man!), but fans can agree that the team that kickstarted the women's football revolution hasn't gotten the big screen recognition it deserves. Now it looks like that wait is over, with Netflix announcing plans to develop a feature film on the legendary '99 US Women's Football Team and their run to World Cup glory.
Based on Jeré Longman's 2001 book The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women's Football Team and How It Changed the World, the film will reportedly follow the team's 10-year journey to the World Cup and their trailblazing success. Though the 1999 victory wasn't the team's first (the USWNT won the first ever Women's World Cup in 1991), it's considered a game-changing moment for women's sports across the globe. The Final between the US and China attracted a sold-out crowd to the Rose Bowl and went to penalty kicks, ending with Brandi Chastain's famous goal and iconic celebration. Though the '99 team — known as the '99ers — were featured in the HBO documentary "Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Football Team," this will be the first feature film focussed solely on their journey.
What's the 1999 World Cup winning US Women's Soccer Team up to now?— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) May 12, 2020
We checked in with @JulieFoudy, @MiaHamm, @MichelleAkers10, @joyfawcett14, @KristineLilly, @BriScurry, Carla Overbeck, and @brandichastain to find out! pic.twitter.com/FFYPkXjHo5
"Watching the USA team that summer made me forget I had no money and little more than a dream to feed me," said Tendo Nagenda, Vice President of Netflix Films, in a statement. "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."
The '99ers announced the film themselves in a Twitter video featuring Chastain, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, goalkeeper Briana Scurry, and more familiar faces. Producers have optioned both the book and rights to the life stories of eight USWNT players, so with more details (like a cast and release date) still to come, our hopes are high that the '99ers will get the Hollywood treatment they deserve.
Image Source: Getty / ROBERTO SCHMIDT / Stringer