Pele's latest score a TV documentary

Thu Jun 5, 2008 4:35am EDT
 
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By Kimberly Nordyke

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Brazilian football hero Pele has given his approval to a television documentary that will offer an unprecedented look at his career.

Pele's story has been recounted in written biographies, but the producers said this marks the first time he has granted anyone "such unparalleled access" to produce a TV documentary.

The project is being developed by FremantleMedia, the television behemoth behind "American Idol" and "The X Factor," which signed a deal with Pele's licensing agency, Prime Licensing.

The content ideas are in the early development stages, but the documentary will focus on a specific time in Pele's soccer career. The producer-director roles have not been named.

Pele, born Edison Arantes do Nascimento in 1940, began playing for Santos Futebol Clube when he was 15, joined the Brazilian national team at 16 and led Brazil to the first of three World Cup championships at 17. As a professional, Pele scored more than 1,200 goals and earned the nickname "O Rei" (The King).

In 1967, his popularity influenced the two factions involved in the Nigerian Civil War to agree to a 48-hour cease-fire so they could watch Pele play an exhibition game in Lagos. Among his honors is an honorary British knighthood.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter