A new film starring Matthew McConaughey as the coach of an inspirational girls soccer team from North Texas has been sidelined just six weeks before production.
According to Deadline, Skydance Productions canceled Dallas Sting due to "an impropriety that Skydance and producers were aware of."
The Hollywood Reporter specifies that "Skydance and the producers received disturbing allegations surrounding aspects of the true story on which the drama was based."
McConaughey is also out, according to both news outlets.
He was set to star as Bill Kinder, the coach of a team of Dallas-area high school students who, in 1984, traveled to China and beat teams from China, Italy, and Australia. Kinder had no prior coaching experience at the time. The team made history in the 1980s as the first American soccer team to win a major international tournament, and the film reportedly was to be set against the historical backdrop of the United States' foreign relations efforts with China.
Actress Kaitlyn Dever had signed on to play McConaughey's daughter.
Production was set to begin in October in New Orleans.
As Deadline writer Mike Fleming, Jr. writes,
This had the making of a truly inspiring sports film, and I understand that the Skydance production chiefs and the producers are heartbroken to let this one go. But the tight timeline and the allegations left them little choice. Kari Skogland was set to direct the film developed by Skydance and Berlanti Schechter Productions. Skydance was financing. Apple, which has an overall deal with Skydance, had a first look at the film, but it is unclear if any commitment was made by the streamer.
Full details of the allegations that Skydance found had not been revealed as of September 15, but, Deadline says, they were serious enough to get them to pull out of the movie.