Soccer legend Pelé’s life story is to be brought to the big screen by Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures with writer/directors Michael and Jeff Zimbalist, who made the riveting Emmy-nominated documentary The Two Escobars, which showed at Cannes in 2010. Jeff Zimbalist also directed Favela Rising which won him the Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2005 TriBeCa Film Festival and an Emmy Award nomination in 2006.
PELÉ tells the inspirational story of Pelé’s rise to glory, from his impoverished youth in Brazil to a soccer prodigy who put the hopes and dreams of his country on his shoulders, to lead Brazil to its first ever world cup victory in 1958 and become the greatest player that ever lived.
The film is currently in pre-production for an August 2013 start date. International sales will be handled by Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution, Alex Walton, who will introduce the film to international buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Pelé will be attending the festival to support the international launch of the film. US domestic rights are jointly repped by CAA and WME.
Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures licensed Pelé’s life rights from Sports Licensing International B.V. The deals were negotiated by WME on behalf of Pelé, Paul Kemsley, Michael and Jeff Zimbalist and Sports Licensing International B.V; CAA on behalf of Imagine Entertainment; Michael Mayerson and Kevin Garlitz of Loeb&Loeb on behalf of Seine Pictures; and Exclusive Media’s COO of International, Paul Davidge.
The film’s producers are Brian Grazer, Ivan Orlic, Kim Roth and Dany Wolf, with Pelé, Paul Kemsley and Guy East as Executive Producers.
Imagine Entertainment and Exclusive Media are currently in post-production on Ron Howard’s epic motor-racing thriller RUSH, due for US release through Universal Pictures on 20 September 2013.