Even if you don’t know your yellow cards from your free kicks, you likely know the name Pele (unless you’re Colin Firth‘s Portuguese love interest in “Love Actually“). The Brazilian soccer legend is still regarded as one of the best to ever hit the pitch, and still remains an ambassador for the sport, so it’s no surprise a biopic is on the way. And today brings the first look at the movie and the actor Leonardo Lima Carvalho who plays the footie phenom from ages 10-13. The film is now in production with Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist writing and directing. More details on the movie below:
PELÉ tells the miraculous story of the legendary soccer player’s rise to glory from a young boy to the 17 year old player who scored the winning goal in Brazil’s first ever World Cup victory in 1958. From a life full of disadvantages and an impoverished youth in Brazil, Pelé used his unorthodox yet authentic style of play and his unbeatable spirit to overcome all odds, find greatness and inspire a country that he changed forever.
Vincent D’Onofrio will play the Brazilian team’s World Cup coach Feola, and Diego Boneta will play Jose, Pelé’s arch rival and responsible for giving him the nickname ‘Pelé’ when they were children. Seu Jorge has also joined the cast to play Pelé’s father, Dondinho, alongside newcomers Kevin de Paula who will play Pelé from age 13-17 and Leonardo Lima Carvalho who will play him at age 10. Colm Meaney will play the role of Coach Raynor, the Swedish World Cup coach.
Supporting cast includes Marianna Nunes, Milton Goncales, Rafael Henrique, Marcus Vinicius, Julio Levy, Thelmo Fernandes, Felipe Simas, Charles Myara, Jerome Franz, and Roger Haag.
The film’s creative team includes Academy Award nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique (BLACK SWAN, IRON MAN 2, IRON MAN), production designer Dominic Watkins (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, THE BOURNE SUPREMACY), editor Naomi Geraghty (LIMITLESS, RESERVATION ROAD, HOTEL RWANDA, ‘Treme’), costume designer Ines Salgado (CITY OF GOD) and casting directors Marcela Altberg, Mary Vernieu (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, BLACK SWAN), and Gail Stevens (ZERO DARK THIRTY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE).
Domestic rights for the film are jointly repped by CAA and WME.
Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution, Alex Walton, is handling international sales.