It’s turning out to be quite a busy year for Argentine legend and human time bomb Diego Armando Maradona. He started the year with a bit of a health scare, and was recently in the news for the revelation that he has three children in Cuba, bringing his grand total to eight (keep in mind that you can make a fútbol team with 11 people, so that may be his goal. Pun definitely intended). Otherwise, he has been doing traditional Diego stuff, like dedicating his team’s victories to Nicolás Maduro and dishing out class A interviews like this one:
Diego’s life is definitely not lacking excitement and I’m obviously not the only one to realize that his is a story ideally suited for TV or the bigger screen. A while back we published the news that Amazon Prime was working on a series about Maradona called Sueño Bendito (Blessed Dream). Said series has, predictably, run into quite a bit of trouble, from news that his ex-wife was suing Amazon Prime for using her name without permission, to rumors that the series might be getting cancelled altogether.
All this besides the fact that the series has a kickass promotional image that shows Maradona in three different stages of his life, played by three different actors because, as I stated back when the news was revealed: “Honestly, can one person alone handle this larger-than-life task without ending up in a mental institution?”
This all leads me to the most recent development in Diego’s loaded 2019, one that actually makes me genuinely excited and not depressed. It has been announced that a new documentary about Maradona’s days playing with the famous Napoli is set to premiere out of competition at Cannes Film Festival this year, and it’s being directed by none other than Oscar winner Asif Kapadia, the man behind such successful biopics as Senna (about Brazilian race driver Ayrton Senna) and Amy (about British singer Amy Winehouse), both enormously talented, gone-to-soon figures. This will mark the first time he uses his talents to tell the tale of a living legend, albeit one that has somehow managed to escape death on countless occasions.
Kapadia and his crew were granted access to over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the 80s as well as being granted three face-to-face interviews with the man himself, which pretty much guarantees the documentary will be some can’t-miss material. As Kapadia himself put it in a recent interview: “[Maradona] has something special, not only as an athlete, his origin, what he has achieved, but also all the darkness that there was in his life.”
This is not the first time Maradona will be screened at Cannes, either. In 2008, Serbian director Emir Kusturica presented his Maradona by Kusturica, a film that followed Diego for two years and is, to this day, one of the most intimate portraits ever done of him. It’s still too early to say if this year he’ll make an appearance on the French Riviera like he did in 2008, but let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’d love to see him babbling some answers at a press conference in the most prestigious film festival in the world. Who knows? Maybe he’ll bring Salt Bae as his date.