Rio de Janeiro – The story of how Pele conquered the footballing world aged just 17 is coming to Hollywood with filming under way in Rio de Janeiro, Seine Pictures said Thursday.
The film, entitled simply, “Pele”, “tells the wonderful story of the rise to glory of the legendary player,” said the US company, which is producing the work with Imagine Entertainment.
Pele, 72, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento and nicknamed O Rei (the king), is widely considered the greatest player of all time having helped Brazil to their first World Cup title in 1958 and then having triumphed again with an all-star ensemble in 1970.
Brazilian singer “Seu Jorge” (Jorge Mario da Silva), Mexican actor Diego Boneta and Irish screen idol Colm Meaney are in the cast for a film written and directed by brothers Michael and Jeff Zimbalist.
Brazilians Kevin de Paula and Leonardo Lima Carvalho play the young Pele, respectively between the ages of 13 and 17 and aged 10.
Meaney will play George Raynor, who coached Sweden in the 1958 final when Pele announced his arrival as a global star.
Seine is negotiating rights with Sports Licensing International, which represents Pele.
Filming began in Rio last Monday, the producers said.
Born on October 23, 1940 to a poor provincial family, Pele was also on the squad which won the 1962 World Cup – though he missed much of that tournament through injury – and scored more than 1,000 goals in his career.
He spent the twilight of his playing days helping to popularise soccer in the United States with New York Cosmos.
Fifa proclaimed him player of the century in 2000 and a year beforehand the International Olympic Committee voted him athlete of the century. – Sapa-AFP