Rival pix tackle soccer

Charisma, Working Title developing films of 1958 crash

More than 40 years after a plane crash killed seven members of the famed 1958 Manchester United soccer team, two companies are developing competing projects about the event.

London-based Charisma Films has titled its film “Extra Time,” enlisted helmer Suri Krishnamma (“A Man of No Importance”), and set a start date of March 13; Working Title Films’ “Busby’s Babes,” to be helmed by John Roberts, is also slated for a spring start.

Budgeted at about $6 million, “Extra Time” is being financed by Rainer Mockert’s German tax-fund company MBP. Pic, Charisma’s first foray into feature films in the past decade, will be produced by Alan Balladur and exec produced by Philip Knatchbull and James Atherton. Lensing will take place in London and Ealing Studios.

In “Extra Time,” the producers have created a fictitious character who survives the crash, showing the audience, through his eyes, the triumph over adversity as he realizes that soccer is not everything.

Krishnamma’s recent film, “New Year’s Day,” will screen in the World Cinema division at next year’s Sundance film fest.

Krishnamma is repped by Tim Corrie at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop.

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