Sports-star-turned-actor Vinnie Jones is combining his two talents - he is planning a big-budget remake of cult soccer movie "Escape to Victory". Jones was a top professional soccer player in his native Britain before he built a Hollywood film career after retiring from the sport.
Now, he hopes to use his contacts within the game to lure star players including David Beckham, French ace Thierry Henry, and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to join his next project. The "Snatch" actor is eying a remake of 1981 movie "Escape to Victory", which starred Michael Caine and an array of top soccer players - including Brazilian Pele and former England captain Bobby Moore - as World War II prisoners of war (POWs) who take part in a propaganda-led football match.
Jones aims to update the film by setting it in Afghanistan or Iraq - and hopes interest in the remake will rocket after the soccer World Cup in South Africa in the summer. In his column for British magazine Loaded, Jones writes: "We're in pre-production, and I'm in the process of buying the rights to the title off Paramount films, so hopefully you'll be able to see it in cinemas by Christmas. I'll be in it, of course, but I'll also be producing it, which is more exciting."
"The names being bandied around include Henry, Rio (Ferdinand), Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo, and (Lionel) Messi. I can tell you that I've approached some of the biggest names in (the) world (of) soccer... Is Beckham going to be involved? I certainly hope so."
And Jones has even devised a plan to accommodate Beckham's Achilles tendon injury, which ruled him out of the World Cup. He adds, "If Becks agrees, we'll write it into the film that the enemy crock (hurt) him, because he wouldn't be fit for filming."