Cannes: Pele Heads to Fest to Sell Biopic

Pele World Cup 1970 - H 2013
Getty Images/Allsport Hulton/Archive

UPDATED: The soccer star's life story will be produced by Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment with Seine Pictures, and directed by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist.

Legendary Brazilian soccer star Pele will be in Cannes to kick off a movie about his life that is being directed by Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist for Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures.

The film Pele will tell Pele's life story, from humble beginnings through leading "Brazil to its first ever world cup victory in 1958,” according to an announcement Thursday.

Pele will also exec produce the film, which is being shopped by Exclusive Media International, beginning with an introduction by Exclusive’s president of international sales and distribution Alex Walton at the annual film festival.

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The Zimbalist brothers directed and produced The Two Escobars, a Cannes 2010 film which was released by Disney / ESPN Films and earned an Emmy nomination.

Jeff Zimbalist also directed Favela Rising, for which he won the Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, and a 2006 Emmy nomination.

Brian Grazer, Ivan Orlic, Kim Rothand Dany Wolf will produce. Along with Pele, executive producers are Paul Kemsley and Guy East.

Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures licensed the soccer star’s life rights from Sports Licensing International B.V. Now in pre-production for a August start for principal photography, domestic rights are being jointly represented by CAA and WME. WME made the deals on behalf of Pele, Kemsley and Jeff Zimbalist and Sports Licensing International BV.  Michael Mayerson and Kevin Garlitz of Loeb & Loeb acted on behalf of Seine Pictures. Paul Davidge, the company COO, negotiated on behalf of Exclusive Media International.

Launched in 2012, Ivan Orlic’s Seine Pictures is both a movie producer and financier. Principals are Benjamin Mathes, Caroline Bernhardt, and founder Ivan Orlic. Imagine Entertainment and Exclusive Media are currently in post-production on the action thriller Rush, directed by Ron Howard,  which will be released by Universal Pictures domestically on September 2013