Jean Baptiste Babin, head of co-productions at French-owned Backup Films, which is funding the project, said at a press conference that the tragedy was, “very strong in terms of European identity”. He added that; “It is a very ambitious story.”
Babin promised that the film would deal with the events “sensitively”. “It is an historical event that is still vivid in most European countries.
“We wanted to announce the film at Cannes, but we are still working on the development of the film.”
The film is based on French author Laurent Mauvignier‘s 2006 novel In The Crowd and will follow the night’s events from the viewpoints of fans from Belgium, France, England and Italy who all attend the fateful game between Liverpool and Juventus, who were playing each other for the European Cup.
French film-maker Jean Stephane Sauvaire, whose 2008 film Johnny Mad Dog was about child soldiers in Africa will direct the movie.
The tragedy caused the deaths of 32 Italians, four Belgians, two French fans and one from Northern Ireland. It had serious repercussions for English club football as the country’s teams were banned for at least five years and, at the time, Liverpool indefinitely.
In 1989, after a five-month trial in Belgium, 14 Liverpool fans were given three-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter.