20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment are developing soccer match-fixing thriller “The Big Fix” with directing team Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah on board.
Fox-based Chernin Entertainment is producing, based on Brett Forrest’s ESPN Magazine article “All The World Is Staged,” published in 2012.
The film will follow three characters – Chris Eaton, a former police officer who helped uncover the scandal while serving as top enforcement agent at the sport’s ruling body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association; Singaporean fixer Raj Perumal; and a player whose family is threatened, based on a composite of several players.
Producers have obtained Eaton’s life rights. Perumal was first jailed for match-fixing in 1995 in Singapore, then built up a match-fixing network in Europe, Asia and Africa by focusing on players in less prominent leagues. He was arrested in Rovaniemi, Finland in 2011 for having a false passport after her was spotted scolding three players from the local team.
“One week later, Chris Eaton, FIFA’s head of security, arrived in Rovaniemi,” the article said. “He knew exactly who Perumal was. Eaton informed Finnish investigators that they had just caught the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches, an elusive figure whom Eaton had been chasing for the past six months. Perumal had rigged hundreds of games across five continents, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent gambling winnings for Asian and European syndicates.”
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Kira Goldberg is overseeing “The Big Fix” for the studio.
Arbi and Fallah, who are based in Belgium, directed the gang drama “Black,” which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September. The story centers on a 15-year-old girl in a black gang in Brussels who must choose between loyalty and love when she falls for a Moroccan from a rival gang.
Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave the film a strong review: “The first of its kind in Belgian cinema, this easily exportable, minority-driven drama has the potential to launch the careers of its young directors and cast, driving its star-crossed ‘West Side Story’ formula into the 21st century.”
The filmmakers are repped by CAA, Management and Ken Lambrechts in Belgium. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.