Quick, Americans, name a retired soccer legend. To the large number of you who said “Pelé” — olé. He and his manager Paul “PK” Kemsley are teaming with Bunim/Murray Productions for a scripted limited series based on the Brazilian fútbol diety’s life. The untitled program will focus on his life in New York while playing for the NASL’s Cosmos alongside other international footballers in the mid-1970s.
Considered arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, Pelé (née Edson Arantes do Nascimento) and Kemsley will executive produce the series with Bunim/Murray CEO Gil Goldschein and Jeff Jenkins, BMP’s Co-President of Entertainment & Development. No time frame was announced.
“Growing up playing soccer competitively and now coaching my kids’ teams, I have always admired Pelé and aspired to share his story and approached PK about doing this series,” Goldschein said. “As soccer continues to gain legions of fans around the world, now is the right time to delve into and dramatize his story. Pelé’s talent, humility and charisma make him an outstanding role model, and we anticipate that this series will have mass global appeal.”
After joining Brazil’s national team at 16, Pelé led them to FIFA World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He was named World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics and Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee, Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a global ambassador for soccer and was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos in 2010.
“Bunim/Murray has an amazing track record for creating revolutionary TV shows, and it was clear to me that we share a passion for Pelé and soccer,” Kemsley said. “I have no doubt they will capture the magic that was New York City in the late ’70s and also honor the legacy of one of the greatest athletes this planet has ever known.”