He is joined by Natascha McElhone, Anne Reid, Philip Jackson and newcomer Jack Smith in the fictional family feature which is being directed by Manchester born David Scheinmann.

Cox will play the former Manchester United boss as he helps 11 year old tearaway Georgie (played by newcomer Jack Smith) to fulfill his footballing dream, whilst putting his own demons of the Busby Babes plane disaster to rest.

James Callis, Toby Stephens and Kate Ashfield will also star in the film, which is the second feature from photographer turned film-maker Scheinmann, who describes the project as “Billy Eilliot meets Bend It Like Beckham”. His debut feature was the 2006 The West Wittering Affair. The script has been written by Masimilliano Durante, Carmelo Pennisi and Scheinmann.

The children in the film were cast following a nationwide search of the UK and include budding professional footballers Joshua Dunne, Sam Wisniewski and Finlay Preston.

Emmy-nominated Bill and Ben Productions, Justin Peyton and Manuela Noble are producing. Mark Sandell is executive producing. Theatre of Dreams will be distributed in the UK, in 2012, by Trinity Films, who are also co-financing.

Shooting will take place in Manchester in September and October, with the producers currently on the look out for Manchester based extras. Click here for contact details.