EXCLUSIVE: Director [pictured] of official London 2012 Olympics film First could make film about revival of New York football team.
Caroline Rowland, director of the official London 2012 Olympics film First (which receives its world premiere in London tonight, Nov 6) is in talks to make a film about the revival of legendary New York football team The New York Cosmos.
The Cosmos, famous as the team that “brought Pele to America,” have already been the subject of one successful doc, Once In A Lifetime (2006), which looked at the team’s rise and fall in thew 1970s and 1980s. Now, the team is enjoying a second coming.
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Ex-Manchester United star turned movie actor Eric Cantona, who became Director of Soccer at the Cosmos in January 2011, has talked of his ambition to help the Cosmos regain their number one position in US soccer and then to become “one of the best clubs in the world”.
The new Cosmos project has the working title Twice In A Lifetime.
Meanwhile, Rowland’s Olympic movie First is being released theatrically in the UK by Revolver on Nov 23.
Rowland received several UK offers on the Olympics film. “In the end, we were in the incredibly enviable position of being able to go with the distributor that seemed to be able to make things quickly enough in the UK market.”
Revolver, specialists in multi-platform releasing, will put the movie out on DVD a week after its theatrical release as they target the Christmas market.
“We wanted to work with a distributor who could make the theatrical and the DVD part happen very quickly and demonstrate that that was a strategy they’d adopted previously with some success,” Rowland commented. “It’s the sort of film that people want to see whilst the memory of the London Games is still quite fresh.”
Rowland, who also produced the film through her London-based company New Moon, has revealed she is now in talks with NBC Universal about First receiving theatrical distribution in the US.
“The US TV rights are with NBC and at the moment we are in discussion with NBC Universal about a theatrical roll-out,” Rowland said.
Given the huge ratings London 2012 received on US TV, Rowland has expressed confidence that there woul be an appetite in US cinemas for the film.
BBC Worldwide is distributing the film on TV in all territories excluding US and UK.
First was edited down to 103 minutes from over 400 hours of material and 60 hours of interviews. It features 12 first-time Olympic athletes from all around the world in the six weeks leading up to the Games and in London itself. These include young American swimmer Missy Franklin and Kenyan runner David Rudisha, two of the “stars” of the Games.
Rowland had originally hoped to premiere the film in last month’s London Film Festival but wasn’t able to complete it in time.
At tonight’s premiere in London’s West End, attendees will include James Ellington (one of the cast athletes from the film), Lord Coe, Paul Deighton and Sir Keith Mills from LOCOG, Lord David Puttnam. Stephen Fry and Vassos Alexander (Chris Evans Show). Several members of Team GB are also expected, among them Will Satch (Rowing), Alex Danson (Hockey), Ashley McKenzie (Judo), Karina Bryant (Judo), Anna Bentley (Fencing) and Sophie Troiano (Fencing).