In the late ’90s, the film’s screenwriter Jessica Bendinger shopped her lengthy 120-page script around Hollywood with hopes of making a teen movie about cheerleaders. Sadly, every major studio passed. Until, a few producers at Beacon Pictures fell in love with the screenplay and obliged to making Bendinger’s dreams a reality.
Surely the major studios that passed on the timeless movie are beating themselves up right now as the film performed considerably well. It quickly became a major box office hit racking in $90 million at the box office.
Bring It On follows two rival high school cheer squads as they prepare to compete for the national title. The Rancho Carne Toros find out that their five-time winning routines were stolen from Black cheerleaders at the East Compton Clovers. The story dives into a timely and timeless topic about cultural appropriation and White privilege.
The all-star cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union and Jesse Bradford. The film helped solidify Dunst as a box office draw. She had her biggest year in 1999 with The Virgin Suicides, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Dick. In Bring It On, Dunst played Toros captain Torrence Shipman alongside up-and-comers Eliza Dushku, as the edgy gymnast turned cheerleader Missy Pantone, and Gabrielle Union as the Clovers’ fearless and confident captain, Isis.
To celebrate 21 years of Bring It On, here are some of our favorite moments from the film.