eOne Grabs U.K. Rights to Paul Gascoigne Film (EXCLUSIVE)

LONDON — Entertainment One has taken the U.K. rights to Salon Pictures’ feature documentary about the maverick soccer player Paul Gascoigne, known both for his sublime soccer skills on the pitch and his self-destructive behavior off the field.

“Gascoigne,” which is directed by Jane Preston (“Graffiti Wars”), and produced by Salon’s Nick Taussig and Paul Van Carter, is built around an extensive interview with Gascoigne, and accompanied by archive material showing career highlights, and interviews with those who knew him, and those he played with or against.

Gascoigne rose from poverty-stricken beginnings in North-East England to forge a stellar career with a ferocious free kick and the ability to dribble past entire teams.

Pic is not only a sports biographical documentary, but also a “compelling narrative-driven character study and cinematic portrayal of infamy,” Salon said.

Preston is filming now, with her company One Films co-producing. eOne will release the film in 2015 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of 1990’s World Cup in Italy, when England reached the semi-finals.

eOne is the perfect home for ‘Gascoigne,’” Taussig said. “Alex Hamilton, Joel Kennedy and the team understand intrinsically what makes Gazza’s story so powerful and poignant. We very much look forward to delivering them the story we know will touch fans and newcomers alike. We’re also very excited to be working with Jane Preston, who is showing herself to be one of the U.K.’s foremost documentarians.”

“We’re delighted to be working with Salon on this film, which is particularly timely given next year’s anniversary of Italia ’90,” said eOne’s Joel Kennedy. “We’re sure the film will tell this exciting and poignant tale brilliantly.”

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