Film inspired by soccer legend Cantona

LONDON — Icon Film Distribution has snapped up all U.K. rights to Ken Loach’s “Looking For Eric,” a project partly originated by controversial Gallic soccer legend turned thesp Eric Cantona, from Wild Bunch.

Loach’s pic, which is currently shooting in Manchester, England, tells the story of Eric, a Manchester based postman struggling to cope with his chaotic family and nursing a broken heart.

The film arose through a series of conversations between Cantona, writer Paul Laverty, Loach and producer Rebecca O’Brien. Lead actors are Steve Evets, Stephanie Bishop and John Henshaw.

According to the blurb, “the film-makers were inspired by the footballing genius of Eric Cantona and his very special relationship with all who love football.”

Cantona enjoyed a glittering club career at Manchester United which was never short on drama. As well as leading the team to numerous big trophies he was suspended from the game for a vicious kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan. He also drew headlines for his philosophical quotes —— very much out of keeping with soccer player’s usual mundane comments.

Referring to journalists’ insatiable interest in his life he famously said, “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown in to the sea.”

“Following our distribution of ‘Sweet Sixteen’ and ‘Ae Fond Kiss,’ Icon Films is delighted to be working with Ken, Paul and Rebecca again on such an exciting project,” commented Hugo Grumbar, president, IFD.

“Looking for Eric” is a Canto Bros, Sixteen Films, Why Not Productions and Wild Bunch presentation of a co-production with Les Films de Fleuve and BIM. Other financiers are Film4, France 2, screen agency North West Vision Media and Icon Films. Wild Bunch is handling all international sales.

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