Paramount Pictures Spain has picked up Spanish distribution rights to Atresmedia Cine’s pre-teen soccer film “Los Futbolísimos,” an adaptation of Spaniard Roberto Santiago’s same-titled hit book series.
Vicente Canales’ Film Factory has acquired internationals sales rights, while Spain’s leading paybox Movistar+ and Nickelodeon network nabbed pay TV rights, confirming a strong interest in the project.
“Los Futbolísimos” marks Atresmedia Cine’s newest bet on movies aimed at young audiences, which have often played well at local box office. Examples take in 2013’s “Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang,” that earned €5.2 million ($5.9 million), and 2014’s “Pancho, Millionaire Dog” ($2.9 million). However, unlike other European markets such as Germany or France, production in Spain of children-oriented films disc much more sporadic.
Miguel Angel Lamata (“Unresolved Sexual Tension”) directs and co-wrote the script alongside Pablo Fernández (“Iván’s Dream”) and Roberto Santiago, also a movie director, with credits such as “The Suicide Club” and “Road to Santiago.”
The film is executive produced by Gustavo Ferrada, a senior Spanish industry figure and producer on Juan Jose Campanella’s “Underdogs,” as well as Atresmedia Cine’s Rosa Pérez, Chester Media’s José Alberto Sánchez and Wandermoon’s Fernando de Miguel.
One of Spain’s best-selling children and youth book series in recent years, “Los Futbolísimos” has sold to date more than 1.3 million copies in Spain. It has also been published in Portugal, France, Italy, México, Brazil and Argentina, among other countries.
The “Los Futbolísticos” movie focuses on saga’s first tome, “El misterio de los árbitros dormidos” (The Mystery of the Sleeping Referees), following a group of schoolmates who, aiming to prevent the closure of their soccer team, the Soto Alto Fútbol Club, make a secret pact to always stay together and keep on playing soccer.
Rolling for eight weeks through Sept. 2 in locations in Madrid, Segovia and Guadalajara, film toplines Joaquín Reyes, star of Netflix’s first Spanish comedy show, “Una y No Más,” plus a bunch of young actors led by Julio Bohigas, Milene Mayer and Marcos Milara, selected from a casting of 5,000 children.