Netflix’s upcoming film The Beautiful Game already has a stellar line-up with a beautiful narrative. Recently, it has been declared that Michael Ward from Top Boy and Callum Scott Howells from It’s a Sin are set to collaborate on this project.
The film will be directed by Thea Sharrock, known for her work in Me Before You, among others. Howells and Ward will be joined by Love Actually’s Bill Nighy as their coach, as well as an incredible ensemble. That group includes Valeria Golino from The Morning Show, Shadow & Bone’s Kit Young, Enola Holmes’ Susan Wokoma, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor from Avengers: Infinity World, Layo-Christina Akinlude from The End of the F**king World, No One Gets Out Alive’s Cristina Rodlo, Snabba Cash’s Robin Nazari as well as Sheyi Cole from Small Axe-Alex Wheatle.
The producer Graham Broadbent has stated that it is “a film about succeeding against the odds. [It] shows the joy, drama and excitement of this real-life tournament and the enormous potential of people left behind by society”.
The film shall basically focus on the journey of a group of homeless English footballers from London to Rome, inspired by their coach Mal to compete in the global football tournament for the homeless that take place annually, known as The Homeless World Cup. it shall show the various hardships the boys undergo and how they must unite, putting aside all differences, to win the game.
Broadbent further elaborated on how they worked with the Homeless World Cup Foundation to make the film as realistic as possible. “We’ve worked closely with the Homeless World Cup Foundation, and our writer Frank [Cottrell-Boyce] has met many players, from whose real-life stories he has created our characters, and we’re happy to welcome many former players from the real tournament to be a part of the filming in Rome and London,” said Broadbent in his statement.
The founding president of the Foundation, Mel Young, has expressed his excitement about the foundation being the focus of the film as he feels that it could have a positive impact. Young stated that the film could help educate people about “the power of football as a method of tackling homelessness throughout the world”.
The foundation has “impacted the lives of over 1.2 million homeless people since 2003” and continues to use football as means to tackle this problem. They have continuously “proved just how powerful football can be when it is applied to a social problem, and we will keep striving to do more”, as reported by Young.
He further added that “We hope that the work we do being told in The Beautiful Game inspires more people to join in and support future Homeless World Cups and together we can all aim to end homelessness forever.”
Netflix is expected to stream The Beautiful Game in 2022. Let’s hope it fares as well as Netflix’s previous toe-dip into football, The English Game.