Richard the Lion-Hearted has been recast as Ralph the bravehearted: comes the casting news that Danny Huston, currently co-starring in Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood,” (you may also remember him from such films as “Clash of the Titans” and “Children of Men”) From the Cannes Film Festivalhas won the lead role in “Playoff.”
Playoff tells the story of Ralph Klein, a.k.a. the commonly-held “Father of Israeli Basketball.” Though as a child Klein was spared from life in a concentration camp, his father died at Auschwitz. In his youth, Klein played pro basketball in Hungary and for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
He would go on to win eight Israeli League championships as a player and a crazy 14 more – plus the 1977 European Cup – as a coach, but it was Klein’s work guiding a Continental team to an eighth-place finish in an international tournament that most captured the people’s imagination and kicked up controversy: To heaps of criticism, Klein accepted a job as head coach of Team West Germany in time for the 1984 Olympics.
Director Eran Riklis has explained that “the film follows his first two months coping with” the decision to coach West Germany. Slightly more abstractly, actor Huston sees Playoff as “really about childhood and how the stories and memories of your past are often lies.”
Playoff begins shooting in Frankfurt on June 29.
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