FIFA’s propaganda fuelled movie "United Passions" grossed just $918 in the US during the weekend of June 6 and has been pulled off from theatres by its distributor. The movie’s director Frédéric Auburtin spoke about the movie.
The film, starring Tim Roth as outgoing president Sepp Blatter alongside Gerard Depardieu and Sam Neill is now described as "a disaster" by its own director.
FIFA’s movie "United Passions" damaged FIFA’s reputation as much as the corruption scandal they involved in and now the director of the movie says he regrets his involvement.
Director Auburtin said he intended to make a combination of “Disney propaganda” and “a Costa Gavras/Michael Moore movie” but he struggled under the weight of FIFA.
He added, “Now I’m seen as bad as the guy who brought Aids to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis. My name is all over [this mess] and apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people.”
The $30 million budgeted film, which made $918 in its first weekend after the corruption scandal, was financed mainly by the football governing body.
Aubertin said the project was in trouble from an early stage after FIFA demanded the film be ready for release in summer 2014 and they gave him just four months to get a script ready.
He claims that the first treatment had a subplot about an investigation into corruption. “The image we had … and of course is very ironic today, was these flashing lights and sirens arriving at FIFA headquarters early in the morning,” Aubertin said.
Aubertin also said FIFA suggested the title of the film to be “Men of Legend” and added “Can you imagine such a title? It’s nonsense. Then The Dreammakers. Come on.”
He also said he didn't know the movie was going to be released in the USA.
Aubertin now says that he is keen on making a sequel about the recent FIFA controversy.
He added, “I’m a victim of the game. It’s a disaster, but that is not the point, I accepted the job. I was not paid to be the Che Guevara of the sports business. Please don’t make me the guy responsible for the fact that FIFA is rotten.”
According to some sources Sepp Blatter was "very touched and satisfied" with United Passions but when the film failed to sell, the organisation appeared to abandon it.