The hospitalization of soccer star Diego Maradona, perhaps Argentina’s greatest living hero, has kicked up major media coverage and brought a long-gestating biopic off the bench.
The 43-year-old soccer icon, who led Argentina’s win in the 1986 World Cup but almost died of a cocaine overdose in 2000, was rushed to the Suizo-Argentino clinic in Buenos Aires on April 18 with heart and lung problems.
Fans gathered outside, hoisting goodwill messages, lighting candles and singing. Broadcasters reworked TV schedules, and footage of his wonder goal, in which he skirted past opponents in a half-pitch run against England, aired repeatedly.
Now it appears a 4-year-old film project is coming back to life.
Italian helmer Marco Risi, known for taking on social themes in pics like “The Pack,” is tipped to direct, with lensing to begin later this year.
OMBU, a venture between Spanish production companies Globomedia and Telefonica Contenidos and Argentina’s Pol-ka Producciones, is set to produce the $7 million project.
The producers already have 10 hours of interviews with Maradona reflecting on his childhood in a shantytown to his pro days, but other media deals might be problematic.While apparently recovering, Maradona has been on and off a breathing machine for more than a week.