EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Wilde’s Perfect, about Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug, has pre-sold to Searchlight Pictures in a big deal after negotiations began at the EFM in Berlin last month. This was one of the hottest scripts at the market and we understand the global deal has closed at $15M.
The Riverstone Pictures and Pulse Films-produced movie sparked a frenzy among buyers with A24, WB, Paramount and HBO Max among those hot for it last month. The streamer is understood to have offered significantly more for the movie, almost double, but the lure of theatrical and Searchlight’s prestige track record won out. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal.
Hot on the heels of her Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, Booksmart director Wilde went to Berlin to discuss the project with buyers at a buzzy presentation. As we revealed at the time, Searchlight was leading the pack of suitors.
The film, based on the book Landing On My Feet, A Diary Of Dreams by Strug and John P. Lopez, tells the true story of the gymnast’s triumph against the odds to win Team USA’s first gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. Strug was hailed as an American hero when she completed her final vault at the Atlanta games on a badly injured ankle to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
In iconic images, Strug was carried onto the medals podium to join her team, after which she was treated at a hospital for tendon damage. She became an instant national hit, visiting President Clinton, appearing on various talk shows, and making the cover of Sports Illustrated. Casting is underway. A start date has yet to be set.
Script is by Ronnie Sandahl (Borg/McEnroe). Nik Bower is producing for Riverstone Pictures and Thomas Benski for Pulse Films, together with Jeremy Baxter and Moss Barclay. Wilde will executive produce with Deepak Nayar, Marisa Clifford and Sandahl. FilmNation was the international sales agent.