The greatest soccer player the world has ever seen, Brazilian superstar Pele finally will see his amazing life story released on the silver screen. Titled, Pelé: Birth of a Legend, the film will open in theaters this May.
Despite debuting at the Cannes Film Festival, this story about the legendary football/soccer star, Pelé (born Edison Arantes do Nascimento) and having the prestige of being produced by Hollywood heavyweight, Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, garnered little interest.
Co-written and co-directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, the film is a coming-of-age story that traces Pelé’s childhood until he won his first World Cup in Sweden at the age of 17. Leonardo Lima Carvalho plays Pelé at age 10 years old, and Kevin de Paula, plays Pelé from ages 13 to 17, when he won his first World Cup, in 1958.
Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney and Seu Jorge all round out the cast of the film. D’Onofrio plays the Brazilian team’s coach, Vicente Feola (when they won the 1958 World Cup), while Boneta plays Jose, Pelé’s main competition, who also gave him the nickname “Pelé” when they were both kids. Seu Jorge plays Pelé’s father, Dondinho. And Meaney is the British coach of the Swedish nation team that lost to Brazil in the 1958 World Cup final – George Raynor.
The cast also includes several Brazilian actors in Marianna Nunes, Milton Goncales, Rafael Henrique, Marcus Vinicius, Julio Levy, Thelmo Fernandes, Felipe Simas, and Charles Myara.
Pelé: Birth of a Legend is produced by Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures, who successfully acquired the rights to Pelé’s life story. The film is executive produced by Pelé himself and will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival next month for which Pelé himself will be present.
Pelé: Birth of a Legend will open in theaters on May 6, 2016, and will be released on VOD, the following week on May 13, 2016.