World Cup fever might be having an impact in Hollywood. Sources close to the project confirm The Hollywood Reporter’s news that Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is in talks with Warner Bros. to remake the 1981 soccer movie Victory, which starred Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Pelé. Gavin O’Connor, who directed Miracle and Warrior, is writing the script for the remake, which tells the story of World War II Allied POWs who use a “friendly” match against the German national team to make their escape from Nazi-occupied Paris.
In the original film, directed by John Huston, Stallone played the rugged American POW whose understanding of “football” was limited to the gridiron brand better known in the States. Nevertheless, he becomes the team’s trainer and emergency goalkeeper in order to keep his hopes of escape alive. Fans of the sport, though, excused some of the film’s narrative shortcomings simply because of the many world-class players who made appearances and demonstrated amazing slow-motion tricks and artistry with the ball.
When Victory was made in 1980, America was experiencing its first real soccer boom. The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League built a team around several aging international superstars that made their games popular must-see events. The league eventually collapsed, but with record television audiences watching the U.S. men’s team’s recent advance to the knock-out round of the World Cup in Brazil, Hollywood is imagining an American sports movie with massive worldwide appeal—something that handicaps even the finest baseball and football films.