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IFC Films have picked up North American rights to Pele: Birth of a Legend, the biopic of the Brazilian soccer legend, written and directed by Michael and Jeffrey Zimbalist.
The project, produced by Brian Grazer and Kim Roth for Imagine Entertainment, Ivan Orlic for Seine Pictures and Colin Wilson, has been circling the market for over a year now. Originally planned to release timed to last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, production on Pele was pushed back, and initially appeared to have trouble finding buyers. Alex Walton‘s Bloom, which is handling worldwide sales, has since closed deals with multiple international territories, including with Signature for the U.K., Wild Bunch for France, M2 for Italy and Asmik Ace for Japan.
Pele traces Pele’s early career from his impoverished childhood in a Brazilian favela to become the youngest player ever to win a World Cup in 1958 at the age of 17. The films stars first-timer Kevin de Paula as a young Pele and co-stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Colm Meaney, Brazilian musician Seu Jorge and Mexican actor Diego Boneta. IFC Films plans to release the film in 2016, when Pele will also roll out internationally.
Pele himself executive produced the film, together with Paul Kemsley for Legends10, Michael Rosenberg and Alexandre Dauman for Imagine, Benjamin Mathes for Seine Pictures and Walton for Bloom.
The deal for the film was negotiated with CAA and WME Global on behalf of Seine Pictures.
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