With the surging popularity of sports documentaries, it seems only right that England’s all-time leading goal scorer gets one of his own.
Deadline reports that Wayne Rooney will be the subject of a nonfiction film that will chronicle the soccer star’s career from his debut for Everton as a 16-year-old to his 13 seasons with Manchester United, during which he scored the most goals in club history (253).
During his 18-year career including two stints with Everton, Rooney has also played for DC United of Major League Soccer. He currently plays for Derby County in the EFL Championship. Rooney’s 53 goals in international play are the most a player has ever tallied for England.
The documentary will be directed by Matt Smith, who has previously made films on footballers Rio Ferdinand (Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, 2017) and David Beckham (David Beckham: For the Love of the Game, 2015) for the BBC. The Rio Ferdinand film won a BATFA award, the British equivalent to the Academy Awards, in 2018.
According to Deadline’s Andreas Wiseman, Smith will use personal archive footage in addition to interviews with figures from soccer and the culture at-large. Presumably, the film will be more in-depth than a previous Rooney documentary, 2015’s Rooney: The Man Behind the Goals (which can currently be seen on YouTube).
Lorton Entertainment will produce and finance the documentary, adding to the company’s roster of sports documentaries. Previously, Lorton produced the Diego Maradona documentary which played in the United States on HBO.
Other documentaries that the company is currently developing include Three Kings, about the Celtic, Liverpool, and Manchester United clubs and managers Jock Stein, Bill Shankly, and Matt Busby. Also in production is Becker, a film about tennis legend Boris Becker directed by acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney (Catching Hell, The Armstrong Lie).
All three films are expected to be shopped to distributors and financiers at the Cannes Film Festival virtual market. The Rooney documentary is expected to be released theatrically in the UK this coming November.
“I’m excited to be the subject of this documentary,” said Rooney in an official statement announcing the project (via Deadline). “This is a film that looks in detail at my journey: the highs, the lows, the beautiful game, finally I have the opportunity to show the person I really am.”