Olivia Wilde is to direct a biopic about heroic American gymnast Kerri Strug.

Strug won huge praise from fans at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia by completing a final, gold medal-winning vault in the team competition on a badly injured ankle that later required treatment for ligament damage.

Iconic photographs showed Strug being carried to the podium to accept her gold medal with her teammates before heading to hospital.

Her achievement made her an American hero - she was visited by U.S. President Bill Clinton and made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Speaking about the film, titled Perfect, Wilde told Deadline she is delighted to bring a true underdog story to the silver screen.

"This is a film about what real power looks like," she said. "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."

The script for the film, which Wilde will also produce, will be penned by Borg/McEnroe writer Ronnie Sandahl, who is adapting the book Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams by Strug and John P. Lopez.

Wilde, 35, made her directorial debut with 2019 coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. She is also set to helm the thriller Don't Worry, Darling, which will centre on an unhappy 1950s housewife.