DNA Films and Passion Pictures are partnering for a feature-length documentary about legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, the two companies announced Tuesday. The British production companies, whose credits include Oscar-winning narrative features “The Last King of Scotland” and “Ex Machina” and Oscar-winning documentaries “One Day in September” and “Searching for Sugarman,” will co-produce the new project, which is directed by the soccer legend’s son, Jason Ferguson.
The documentary will have exclusive and unrestricted access to Alex Ferguson, his family and friends, offering fans a deeply personal and revealing account of Ferguson’s life from his working-class roots in Glasgow through to his 26-year tenure as the longest-serving manager of world-renowned British soccer team Manchester United. It is scheduled to begin production in October.
“I don’t see this as a [soccer] film,” said Jason Ferguson. “What really appeals to me is to approach the story from a uniquely intimate perspective and in so doing tell my father’s story in a way that will make it resonate with people from all walks of life whether they like the game or not.”
Macdonald, who won a BAFTA for Danny Boyle’s feature debut “Shallow Grave,” said Jason Ferguson’s relationship with the subject made him “uniquely positioned to elicit the unfiltered honest emotional truth from his father.”
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It will be produced by Battsek for Passion Pictures alongside Macdonald and Allon Reich for DNA Films. It is written by Mark Monroe, who won the WGA Documentary Special Award for 2009’s “The Cove,” and edited by two-time BAFTA winner Gregor Lyon (“The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall”). Archive producer Paul Gardner has also joined the production team.
“Jason, John and I have put together a team of the highest caliber, one we are confident will ensure the broadest audience possible for a powerful, emotional film with truly universal appeal,” said Macdonald.
Battsek’s Passion Pictures produced the Oscar-winning feature documentaries “One Day in September” and “Searching for Sugarman.” Battsek also won an Emmy in 2013 for producing HBO’s “Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden,” directed by Greg Barker, and recently reteamed with Barker for “The Final Year,” chronicling President Barack Obama’s final year in office.
Macdonald’s credits include Kevin Macdonald’s “The Last King of Scotland,” which saw star Forest Whitaker take home a best actor Oscar for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, and Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina,” which won an Oscar for its visual effects. More recently DNA produced Boyle’s “T2 Trainspotting” and Garland’s “Annihilation.”