Football Meets Film on the Set of <i>Pelé</i>

by HFPA December 9, 2013


Last Friday Pelé, the world’s biggest soccer star, was on stage in Salavdor De Bahia, for the group stage draw of next summer’s World Cup that will take place in Brazil. Yesterday Pelé visited the set of the feature film which chronicles the origins of his sporting stardom. The appropriately named Pelé tells the miraculous story of the legendary soccer player’s rise to glory from a young boy to the 17 year old player who scored the winning goal in Brazil’s first ever World Cup victory in 1958. From a life full of disadvantages and an impoverished youth in Brazil, Pelé used his unorthodox yet authentic style of play and his unbeatable spirit to overcome all odds, find greatness and inspire a country that he changed forever.

While on set during the last weeks of production, Pelé met with the two actors who will play young “Dico” (as Pelé was known in his formative years) - up and coming young Brazilian stars Leonardo Lima Carvalho and Kevin de Paula.

Following his visit, Pelé commented: "Coming by the set made me feel so blessed to be a part of such a talented family, who are all coming together to tell the story of my life. The two young actors who will play my younger self will be true stars, as their skills both on screen and on the football pitch proved." The 8-week shoot took place entirely in Brazil. The young (and primarily Brazilian) cast was recently revealed to include Leonardo Lima Carvalho as the 10-13 year old “Dico” and Kevin de Paula as the 15-17 year old rising soccer star, who would become the greatest player the game has ever known.

Additional cast includes Emmy-nominated Vincent D'Onofrio (Men In Black, Law and Order: Criminal Intent) and Rodrigo Santoro (300, Love Actually), as well as Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages), Golden Globe nominated Colm Meaney (The Damn United) and Seu Jorge (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, City of God). The producers of the film are Academy Award ® winning Brian Grazer (Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon), Ivan Orlic for Seine Pictures, Kim Roth (Inside Man) for Imagine Entertainment and Colin Wilson (Zero Dark Thirty and Avatar). The film will be executive produced by Pelé himself alongside Paul Kemsley for SLI/Legend 10 and Exclusive Media. The film will be released internationally in 2014.