SAN SEBASTIAN –- “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint will lead the English-language voice-cast of Juan Jose Campanella’s animated 3D feature “Foosball,” which bowed to strong applause and cheers at San Sebastián Friday, opening the Spanish Festival.
Grint will play “Foosball’s” hero Amadeo, a shy table soccer genius whose table soccer figures come alive to help him save his local town and win his childhood sweetheart, both threatened by a preening soccer mega-star.
Anthony Head (“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) limns the international soccer ace, dubbed Flash, who is also out for revenge after Amadeo beat him at table soccer as a kid, “Foosball” producer Jorge Estrada Mora announced Friday at San Sebastian.
An up-and-coming English actress, Eva Ponsoby (“The White Queen”) will dub Amadeo’s childhood sweetheart, Laura.
Produced by London-based 369 Production, headed by Victor Glynn and David Burgess, the English-language version, now in advanced production, is designed initially for release in the U.K., said Glynn.
“Foosball” will first be seen on Oct. 19 at the London Film Festival.
Campanella will segue from the San Sebastian Festival, where “Foosball” has its international premiere as its gala opening on Sept. 20, to oversee dubbing on a few final scenes. He was also involved in the creation of the Spanish-language version for Spain, working with
An English-language version of “Foosball” reflect the film’s scale and creative ambition.
“Usually, at least in the U.K., if you have a foreign film, you’d subtitle,” Glynn said.
“But ‘Foosball’ has huge potential and is a family film, and kids want films in their own language,” he added.
Glynn “hopes and is confident” that he will see a lot more business dubbing animated films into English.
“Foosball” was budgeted at $21 million. Its Argentine producers Plural-Jempsa, Catmandu and 100 Bares have “established themselves in a way that people wouldn’t have believed before “Foosball,” Glynn said.
“They can produce quality on par with L.A., comparable to Hollywood movies be produced by DreamWorks and Pixar, and above a lot of what is coming out of Asia, for a third of the cost,” he added.
At San Sebastian, Campanella said he and his partner were “thinking about” a sequel, but with no pressure. Also, they have to see the worldwide reaction to “Foosball.”
“Foosball,” Campanella added, isn’t really about soccer. “I’m not into soccer. ‘Foosball’ is as much about soccer as ‘Casablanca’ is about war. But soccer underscores other life passions, here, Amadeo’s need to grow up, to face challenges, or be wiped out.”
Distributed by Universal, “Foosball” has grossed $13.8 million to date in Argentina. Universal has taken Spain and Latin America distrib rights. A “neutral” Spanish-language version in also in preparation for Latin America outside Argentina, Estrada-Mora said.
Film Factory has also sold “Foosball” to Russia, Brazil, China, Italy and Korea, among major territories.
“Despite the huge difference in budgets between big Hollywood animation films and those from independent producers, we’re increasingly seeing independent animation films competing with Hollywood movies” said Gaston Gorali, “Foosball” producer and co-scribe.
In a specific play for the British market, Jonathan Pearce, from the BBC “Match of the Day” Saturday night soccer match round-up, will commentate “Foosball’s” English-language climax stadium-set game, teaming with impersonator Alistair McGowan.
Three well-known British TV thesps– Alex Norton (“Taggart”), Peter Serafinowicz, who voiced Darth Maul in “Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace,” and Scottish comedian Lewis MacLeod, an ex-player for Scottish club Rangers – play prominent table soccer characters.