It’s typical. If The Damned United was about anything else other than soccer, there’s no doubt the movie would find its way across the shores to the screens of art house movie theaters in the United States. But because it’s a soccer film, it gets relegated into that category of films that U.S. movie companies denote as unmarketable. After all, Americans wouldn’t go out of their way to watch a movie about soccer, would they?
It’s a shame really because the partnership between screenwriter Peter Morgan and actor Michael Sheen has been so fruitful the past few years culminating in hit movies in both the United States and United Kingdom such as The Queen and Frost/Nixon.
In other parts of the world, the movie has already been scheduled for theatrical release. After debuting in England on March 27, the movie is coming out in Australia on August 13, in France on September 9 and in Sweden on September 11, 2009. But there’s no sign yet of The Damned United coming to the United States.
If the movie does eventually make its way to this side of the Atlantic, don’t be surprised if the name of the film will be changed. There’s been a history in the United States of this occuring with soccer movies for years. Escape to Victory became Victory. Green Street Hooligans became Green Street, then Hooligans. Goal! was changed to Goal! The Dream Begins, and so on and so forth.
Until Sony Pictures decides whether to show the film in the United States, the next best thing is the book which the movie is based on written by David Peace. Order your copy of The Damned Utd book today.