HBO Acquires Rights to ‘Diego Maradona’ Doc Ahead of Cannes Film Festival

HBO plans Sept. 24 debut for the feature-length documentary

Diego Maradona
Alfredo Capozzi

HBO has acquired the U.S. television and streaming rights to the feature-length documentary “Diego Maradona,” the network announced on Wednesday.

The documentary, which will have its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, documents the trials and triumphs of the legendary soccer player. HBO plans to release the documentary, which was executive produced and directed by Asif Kapadia, on Sept. 24.

“Diego Maradona has long been considered the greatest footballer ever, and Asif Kapadia’s filmmaking perfectly captures every high and low of his transcendent career, from his controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal to his awakening of Napoli, and more,” Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports, said. “We look forward to sharing this landmark documentary with both soccer and non-soccer fans alike.”

“My producers and I are delighted to be working with HBO on the release of ‘Diego Maradona’ in North America,” Kapadia said. “HBO stands for quality, and as long-term fans, we know we’re in great hands. Having spent three intense years working with my brilliant team of collaborators on the most complex charismatic character, Diego Maradona, I’m excited to see how the North American audience reacts. I hope this is the beginning of a long journey together with HBO and Diego.”

The documentary features video archives and personal photos as well as interviews with historians and journalists.

Maradona is an Argentine retired football player who had the nickname “El Pibe de Oro,” (“The Golden Boy”), due to his extreme passion and talent in the sport. He was the first player in football history to set the world record transfer fee twice, and played professionally at Napoli and Barcelona. Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup when Argentina won over West Germany in the final. In that World Cup, Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal became one of the iconic moments in soccer history

“Diego Maradona” is an HBO Sports presentation in association with On The Corner and Lorton Entertainment. James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin produce, which executive producers are Kapadia, George Pank, Will Clarke, Julian Bird and Bil Bungay. For HBO, executive producers are Nelson and Bill Simmons. Cinetic Media negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.