In this Aug. 5, 1975, file photo, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath bounces a soccer ball on his head while Pele uses his head to get a feel for the pigskin at the Jets' training camp in Hempstead, N.Y.AP
The story of retired Brazilian soccer legend Pele will head to the silver screen thanks to Imagine Entertainment and Siene Pictures coming together for a new biopic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the biopic – named simply "Pele" – will chronicle the soccer star’s rise from the slums of Sao Paolo to the people’s hero when, at the age of 17, led Brazil to its first-ever World Cup victory in 1958.
Mexican singer/actor Diego Boneta and Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro have been tapped to participate in the biopic.
Boneta is known in the U.S. for playing Drew Boley in “Rock of Ages” opposite Tom Cruise. In the biopic he will play Jose, Pele’s archrival, who was responsible for giving the soccer player his nickname when they were children.
Santoro, one of Brazil’s biggest exports, will star in the upcoming “300: Rise of An Empire” and in “Jane Got A Gun.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, his role is being kept under wraps.
The inspirational sports drama has also tapped Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) who will play Brazil’s coach Feola, and Colm Meany (“Star Trek”) who will play Sweden’s coach George Raynor.
Brazilian sing/actor Seu Jorge (“City of God”) will play Pele’s father, Dondinho.
As for the soccer star, he will be played by two actors: Kevin de Paula will tackle ages 13 to 17 while Leonardo Lima Carvalho will play him at age 10.
Production is set to begin this week on location in Brazil.