Recently, football legend Pelé visited the set of the feature film which tells his story, which has just wrapped principal photography on location in Brazil.
During his visit, Pelé met with the two actors who are playing him in the film – Leonardo Lima Carvalho as Pelé at age 10 years old, and Kevin de Paula, who plays Pelé from ages 13 to 17, when he won his first World Cup, in 1958.
Following his visit, Pelé commented “Coming by the set made me feel so blessed to be a part of such a talented family, who are all coming together to tell the story of my life. The two young actors who will play my younger self will be true stars, as their skills both on screen and on the football pitch proved.”
Both Leonardo and Kevin were cast following an extensive nationwide search by the filmmakers (Jeff and Michael Zimbalist) earlier this year.
Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney and Seu Jorge all round out the cast of the film which, according to producers Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures will tell “a coming-of-age story that will trace Pele’s childhood until he won his first World Cup in Sweden at the age of 17.“
D’Onofrio plays the Brazilian team’s coach, Vicente Feola (when they won the 1958 World Cup), while Boneta plays Jose, Pelé’s main competition, who also gave him the nickname “Pelé” when they were both kids. Seu Jorge plays Pelé’s father, Dondinho. And Meaney is the British coach of the Swedish nation team that lost to Brazil in the 1958 World Cup final – George Raynor.
Rounding out the cast are several Brazilian actors in Marianna Nunes, Milton Goncales, Rafael Henrique, Marcus Vinicius, Julio Levy, Thelmo Fernandes, Felipe Simas, and Charles Myara.
The 8-week shoot (Matthew Libatique shot it) took place entirely on Pelé’s home turf, in Brazil, with the goal being to release the film prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Pelé is produced by Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures, who successfully acquired the rights to Pelé’s life story. The film is executive produced by Pelé himself alongside Paul Kemsley for SLI/Legend 10 and Exclusive Media, who are handling international sales for the title.
The film will be released internationally in 2014.