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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK

Thea Sharrock prepping football flick The Beautiful Game

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- The new production, starring Micheal Ward and Bill Nighy in the lead roles, follows a group of English homeless footballers who compete in the Homeless World Cup

Thea Sharrock prepping football flick The Beautiful Game
Director Thea Sharrock

English stage and film director Thea Sharrock is set to helm a new football flick, entitled The Beautiful Game. Sharrock’s third feature follows her previous efforts, the romantic drama Me Before You (2016) and the fantasy flick The One and Only Ivan (2020).

The story of The Beautiful Game, penned by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, follows a group of English homeless footballers, led by their coach, Mal (played by Bill Nighy). The team will travel from London to Rome to compete in the Homeless World Cup. At the last minute, they decide to bring with them talented striker Vinny (Micheal Ward), but he must confront his own issues and once-promising past in order to help the team and move on with his own life.

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The project’s international cast is rounded off by Valeria Golino, Callum Scott Howells, Kit Young, Sheyi Cole, Robin Nazari, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Susan Wokoma, Layo-Christina Akinlude and Cristina Rodlo.

Speaking to Deadline, the first outlet to report the announcement, producer Graham Broadbent said: “The Beautiful Game is a film about succeeding against the odds. Our film shows the joy, drama and excitement of this real-life tournament and the enormous potential of people left behind by society. We’ve worked closely with the Homeless World Cup Foundation, and our writer Frank has met many players, whose real-life stories he has created our characters from, and we’re happy to welcome many former players from the real tournament to be part of the filming in Rome and London.”

The Beautiful Game is being produced by Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin for UK outfit Blueprint Pictures, as well as by Anita Overland. Ben Knight and Diarmuid McKeown will serve as the executive producers for Blueprint Pictures, along with Ollie Madden and Daniel Battsek from Film4. The picture is now filming in Rome, and the crew will move to London later this year.

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