Olivia Wilde to direct biopic ‘Perfect,’ about gold-medal gymnast Kerri Strug

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Director Olivia Wilde, right, works with Beanie Feldstein on “Booksmart.” [United Artists Releasing photo]

Fresh off her Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, “Booksmart” director Olivia Wilde is set to helm a biopic of gold-medal gymnast Kerri Strug titled “Perfect.”

The fact-based underdog sports drama will be based on the book “Landing On My Feet, A Diary Of Dreams” by Strug and John P. Lopez, according to Deadline. The book tells the true story of the gymnast’s victory against the odds to win Team USA’s first gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Strug completed her final vault at the Atlanta games on a badly injured ankle to seal win for Team USA.

After her brave performance, Strug had to carried to the medals podium to join her team, and she was subsequently transported to a hospital to be treated for tendon damage. She became an instant American hero: She visited President Bill Clinton, appeared on an array of talk shows and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

“This is a film about what real power looks like,” Wilde said, per Deadline. “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-fulfilment that makes those films so thrilling to watch. At the same time, it is unlike any sports movie you have seen before.”

Producers are Riverstone Pictures and Pulse Films from a script by Ronnie Sandahl (“Borg vs. McEnroe”), according to Deadline. Nik Bower is producing for Riverstone Pictures and Thomas Benski for Pulse Films, along with Jeremy Baxter and Moss Barclay. Wilde will executive produce with Deepak Nayer, Marisa Clifford and Sandahl.

Sandahl’s latest screenplay, “Borg vs. McEnroe,” directed by Janus Metz and starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason, opened the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for 10 Guldbagge Awards in Sweden.

Wilde is next directing, starring in and producing the thriller “Don’t Worry, Darling” for New Line. As previously reported, Wilde and “Booksmart” co-writer Katie Silberman also are slated to reteam for an original holiday comedy for Universal Pictures.


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