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Eliminated, reinstated, celebrated, soon to be commemorated
It was destined to happen. A sporting drama that has it all. Drama, suspense, war, an underdog going the distance and a heart-wrenching human factor.
It’s amazing that it’s taken 20 years, but it’s finally official. Denmark’s Euro 1992 miracle is coming to a cinema near you.
They weren’t even supposed to be there. Given just over a week’s notice to get prepared for the European Championships in Sweden, when Denmark were given the green light to replace Yugoslavia due to the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, most of their players were already on their holidays, lounging around on beaches in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
No-one gave them a chance to progress from a tough group featuring England, France and hosts Sweden. But somehow they overcame the indomitable odds and suddenly found themselves facing the Dutch defending champions in the semi-finals and defeating them. And the final against Germany on that sunny day in Gothenburg was something dreams are made of. Germany had won the World Cup only two years earlier, but an outstanding Peter Schmeichel and a wonder crack from John ‘Faxe’ Jensen brought glory to the Danes.
Two decades later and the fairytale miracle is finally on its way to the cinema. Danish-English producer Kris Thykier, who oversaw the making of films such as ‘Kick-Ass’ (2010), ‘Harry Brown’ (2009) and ‘The Debt’ (2010) will team up with Meta Foldager, who is no slouch herself having produced ‘A Royal Affair’ (2012), ‘Melancholia’ (2012) and ‘Antichrist’ (2009), to get the ball and cameras rolling on Denmark’s proudest sports moment.
‘Denmark 92’ is its working title so far, and Kasper Barfoed has been confirmed as the director, while the screenplay will be written by Anders August, the son of legendary director Bille August, who won an Oscar for ‘Pelle the Conqueror’ back in 1987. August Jr wrote last year’s ‘SuperClásico’, a football-themed comedy that represented Demark at the 2011 Oscars.
Speculation is already rife over who will play goalkeeping giant Schmeichel, embattled coach Richard Møller Nielsen and blue-eyed Flemming Poulsen, and according to Foldager, the search has begun.
“We haven’t cast any actors yet, but naturally there are a few specific people we have in mind,” Foldager told Tipsbladet newspaper. “Because the team was quite young back then, we probably have to find some new actors, but we also have some stars in mind. Who they are, I can’t reveal right now.”
But despite the dynamic story already being written for them, the filmmakers face the daunting task of trying to recreate the magic of 1992 that took place on the pitch. Although football might be the most popular sport in the world, films about the sport are notoriously difficult to choreograph so they look genuine.
One only has to look at travesties such as the ‘Goal!’ trilogy, ‘Young Giants’, ‘When Saturday Comes’, and a host of other feeble attempts to portray the great game to realise that the filming of ‘Denmark 92’ won’t be an easy task.
Fortunately, there are a few films that could provide the filmmakers with some confidence. Yes it may feature Sylvester Stallone as a goalkeeper, but ‘Escape to Victory’ is one of the few films where the football choreography isn’t complete twaddle.
‘Denmark 92’ is expected to premiere sometime during the winter of 2014. In the meantime, we here at The Copenhagen Post have decided to beat Foldager to the punch and make a number of suggestions for the cast (see pictures).
And what about you? Do you have any ideas who could play the gang who won Europe’s hearts in 1992? Let’s see them in the comments section on The Copenhagen Post website.