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IFC Picks Up Soccer Biopic ‘Pele: Birth of a Legend’ for U.S.

IFC Films has bought North American rights to the soccer biopic “Pele: Birth of a Legend” for release next year.

The story follows the early career of Pele (born Edson Arantes do Nascimento) from his impoverished childhood in a Brazilian favela to his rise to glory at the age of 17. He led Brazil to its first ever World Cup win in 1958.

The film was shot entirely on location in Brazil, with Leonardo Carvalho and Kevin de Paula playing the rising star at the age of 9 and 17, respectively. “The two young actors who play my younger self will be true stars, as their skills both on screen and on the football pitch proved,” Pele said.

The film, written and directed by Michael and Jeffrey Zimbalist, was produced by Imagine Entertainment and Seine Pictures. The producers are Brian Grazer and Kim Roth for Imagine Entertainment; Ivan Orlic for Seine Pictures; and Colin Wilson. The executive producers are Pele; Paul Kemsley for Legends 10; Michael Rosenberg and Alexandre Dauman for Imagine Entertainment; Benjamin Mathes for Seine Pictures; and Alex Walton for Bloom, which is handling international sales.

The cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Brazilian musician Seu Jorge, Mexican actor Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney and Rodrigo Santoro.

The deal for the film was negotiated with CAA and WME Global on behalf of Seine Pictures.

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