David Ondříček’s “Zátopek,” a biopic about Olympic champion athlete Emil Zátopek, has wrapped filming. The film stars Václav Neužil, Martha Issová and James Frecheville, who starred in Sundance prize-winner “Animal Kingdom.”
Ondříček, one of the most successful Czech directors working today, was selected by Variety magazine for its “10 Directors to Watch” list. His TV miniseries “Dukla 61” was nominated for a Golden Nymph at the 59th Monte-Carlo Television Festival this year.
In the film, Zátopek is seen as someone who inspires other athletes around the world. One of those is Australian record-breaker Ron Clarke – played by Frecheville – who unexpectedly loses what was probably his last chance at an Olympic medal after collapsing in a key race.
Clarke begins to lose faith in his abilities and goes to visit Zátopek, whom he admires unreservedly. The conversation between Clarke and Zátopek brings us retrospectively back to the main moments of the Czech runner’s sporting and private life, painting a comprehensive portrait of a man who never let up.
Ondříček and Kryštof Mucha produced the film for Lucky Man Films. The director and producer previously made three films together: “Grandhotel,” “In the Shadow,” “Anthropoid.”
“Zatopek” is co-produced by Czech Television, Z Films, and Barrandov Studio. The film received backing from the Czech Film Fund.
“Zátopek” is expected to be released in August.