EXCLUSIVE: English-language picture stars Gérard Depardieu, Sam Neill, Tim Roth and Jemima West.
TF1 International is launching sales on Frédéric Auburtin’s FIFA picture A Men’s Dream starring Gérard Depardieu as the soccer federation’s colourful co-founder and World Cup creator Jules Rimet.
The English-language picture captures the history of the 110-year-old International Federation of Association Football through the intertwining stories of Rimet, long-serving Brazilian FIFA president Joao Havelange and Swiss Sepp Blatter who is currently at the helm of the organisation.
Sam Neill plays Havelange and Tim Roth plays Blatter.
“We picked up the project because we think it will appeal to a large and wide audience… not just hardcore football fans. The film tells the human story behind this huge world body through the lives of these three passionate, emblematic figures,” said TF1 International sales chief Sabine Chemaly.
The film, produced by Paris-based Thelma Films and Leuviah Films, was shot this summer in various locations across Europe, Africa and South America and is currently in post-production. It is scheduled for delivery by May 2014, in time for the World Cup which kicks off in Brazil next June.
“FIFA gave its full support to the project. Aside from giving the production access to its archives it also allowed the film to shoot in its headquarters in Zurich… which is a first,” revealed Chemaly.
French director Aubertin co-wrote the script with Jean-Paul Delfino, a former footballer-turned-novelist who has written several works set against the backdrop of Brazil.
Other production credits rising Chilean cinematographer Inti Briones; editor Olivier Gajan, who has just completed Grace of Monaco, and costume designer Charlotte David whose recent work includes the wardrobe for the 1950s-set, French romantic comedy Populaire.
Continuing the sporting theme, other titles on TF1 International’s slate include US actor-turned-director Jason Momoa’s Kane about a former Detroit-based boxer who enters the city’s lucrative but harsh world of underground fighting to pay for his ex-wife’s cancer treatment.
Momoa is also producing through his Pride of Gypsies production company alongside Steve Hoban of Toronto-based Copperheart Entertainment. The project is in pre-production and will be ready late 2014.
Other upcoming films include French director Tonie Marshall’s new romantic comedy Sex, Love & Therapy starring Patrick Bruel and Sophie Marceau as a recovering sex addict and nymphomaniac who fall for one another but try to take it slow.
The picture is currently shooting for a late 2014 delivery. Warner is handling the picture in France.
Other titles on the TF1 slate include the previously announced World War Two romantic tragedy Suite Francaise and Dennis Huack’s thriller Too Late.