Bill Nighy and Michael Ward to star in Netflix’s The Beautiful Game
James R | On 09, Aug 2021
Bill Nighy and Michael Ward are teaming up to star in Netflix’s The Beautiful Game.
The film follows a group of English footballers competing in the Homeless World Cup, with a script from Frank Cottrell-Boyce. The movie is directed by Thea Shamrock (Me Before You) and produced by Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin from Blueprint Pictures and Anita Overland.
In front of the camera will be national treasure Bill Nighy as Mal, the coach of the football team. Joining him will be soon-to-be-another-national-treasure Michael Ward, who has impressed in recent years with performances in Small Axe and Top Boy. Last year he won the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs.
They’re joined by a cast that includes Valeria Golino (Morning Show), Callum Scott Howells (It’s a Sin), Kit Young (Shadow & Bone), Sheyi Cole (Small Axe), Robin Nazari (Snabba Cash), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers Infinity War), Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes), Layo-Christina Akinlude (The End of the F**king World) and Cristina Rodlo (No One Gets Out Alive).
The film follows the football team as the head from London to Rome for the tournament, with talented striker Vinny (Ward) joining them at the last minute – but for the team to succeed, he must first confront his own issues and past.
“The Beautiful Game is a film about succeeding against the odds. Our film shows the joy, drama and excitement of this real life tournament and the enormous potential of people left behind by society,” Broadbent told Deadline. “We’ve worked closely with the Homeless World Cup Foundation and our writer Frank has met many players from who’s 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.”
“We are incredibly excited to be the focus of the upcoming film The Beautiful Game. The Homeless World Cup is our contribution to tackling the homeless problem across the globe but there is so much more to do,” added Mel Young, President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation. “We have proved just how powerful football can be when it is applied to a social problem and we will keep striving to do more. 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.”
Filming is now underway in Rome.