Harry Potter star Rupert Grint will lead the English-language voice-cast of Juan Jose Campanella’s animated 3D feature Foosball, according to a report by Variety. The film opened Spain’s San Sebastián Festival on Friday, where it bowed to strong applause and cheers.
Grint will play Foosball’s hero Amadeo, a shy table soccer genius whose table soccer figures come alive to help him save his local town and win his childhood sweetheart, both threatened by a preening soccer mega-star. Anthony Head (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) voices Flash, the international soccer ace out for revenge after Amadeo beat him at table soccer as a kid. English actress Eva Ponsoby (The White Queen) will voice Amadeo’s childhood sweetheart, Laura.
Produced by London-based 369 Production, headed by Victor Glynn and David Burgess, the English-language version, now in advanced production, is designed initially for release in the U.K, where it will first be seen on October 19 at the London Film Festival.
In a specific play for the British market, Jonathan Pearce, from the BBC Match of the Day Saturday night soccer match round-up, will commentate Foosball’s English-language climax stadium-set game, teaming with impersonator Alistair McGowan. Three well-known British TV actors -- Alex Norton (Taggart), Peter Serafinowicz, who voiced Darth Maul in Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace, and Scottish comedian Lewis MacLeod, an ex-player for Scottish club Rangers -- play prominent table soccer characters.
Foosball, Campanella said, isn’t really about soccer. “I’m not into soccer. Foosball is as much about soccer as Casablanca is about war. But soccer underscores other life passions, here, Amadeo’s need to grow up, to face challenges, or be wiped out.”
Produced by Argentina’s Plural-Jempsa, Catmandu and 100 Bares, the animated family feature cost a reported $21 million to make. Distributed by Universal, Foosball has grossed $13.8 million to date in Argentina. Universal has taken Spain and Latin America distribution rights. A “neutral” Spanish-language version is in also in preparation for Latin America outside Argentina.
Film Factory has also sold Foosball to Russia, Brazil, China, Italy and Korea, among major territories.