Homeless World Cup inspire new Netflix film: The Beautiful Game

Bill Nighy (Emma, Love Actually), BAFTA Rising Star Micheal Ward (Top Boy) and Kit Young (Shadow & Bone) and Callum Scott Howells (It’s A Sin) will star in Blueprint Pictures film The Beautiful Game.  

The Beautiful Game follows a team of English homeless footballers, led by their coach Mal (Bill Nighy), who travel from London to Rome to compete in a global annual football tournament – The Homeless World Cup. At the last minute they decide to bring with them a talented striker Vinny (Micheal Ward), but he must confront his own issues and once-promising past, in order to help the team win the cup and move on with his own life. In Rome just as in life, everything’s to play for. 

The film is directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You, The Hollow Crown), written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man, 24 Hour Party People) and produced for Netflix by Blueprint Pictures’ Graham Broadbent & Pete Czernin with Anita Overland. 

Our President and Founder, Mel Young, said: “We are incredibly excited to be the focus of the upcoming film The Beautiful Game. The Homeless World Cup Foundation uses our annual tournament and the power of football as a method of tackling homelessness throughout the world. 

“We have impacted the lives of over 1.2 million homeless people since 2003. The Homeless World Cup is our contribution to tackling the homeless problem across the globe but there is so much more to do. We have proved just how powerful football can be when it is applied to a social problem and we will keep striving to do more.  

We hope that the work we do being told in The Beautiful Game inspires more people to join in and support future Homeless World Cups and together we can all aim to end homelessness forever.” 

Executive Producer Graham Broadbent said: “The Beautiful Game is a film about succeeding against the odds. Our film shows the joy, drama and excitement of this real-life tournament and the enormous potential of people left behind by society.  

We’ve worked closely with the Homeless World Cup Foundation and our writer Frank has met many players from who’s real life stories he has created our characters, and we’re happy to welcome many former players from the real tournament to be a part of the filming in Rome and London”  

Filming is taking place in Rome and London. 

Cast for The Beautiful Game: 

○ Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Carribean) as MAL 

○ Micheal Ward (Top Boy, Small Axe – Lovers Rock) as VINNY 

○ Valeria Golino (The Morning Show, Rain Man) as GABRIELLA 

○ Callum Scott Howells (It’s a Sin) as NATHAN 

○ Kit Young (Shadow & Bone) as CAL 

○ Sheyi Cole (Small Axe) as JASON 

○ Robin Nazari (Snabba Cash) as ALDAR 

○ Tom Vaughan – Lawlor as (Avengers Infinity War, The Infiltrator) KEVIN 

○ Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum, Enola Holmes) as PROTASIA 

○ Layo-Christina Akinlude (The End of the F**king World) as MARGIE 

○ Cristina Rodlo (No One Gets Out Alive) as ROSITA 

○ Aoi Okuyama (Giri/Haji) as MIKA 

  • Filming is now underway in Rome and moves to London later this year 
  • Link to cast headshots HERE 
  • Link to announcement asset HERE 


Female Scottish players raise their hands celebrating before a match with their faces painted