By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
SOME of Britain and Ireland's top actors have been cast to star in the film The Damned United about the late Brian Clough's doomed 44 day tenure as manager of Leeds United and some scenes from the BBC Films production are going to be shot on location in Majorca where Clough used to own a holiday home.

Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair in the Oscar-winning film The Queen, plays Brian Clough. Colm Meaney, who lives in Majorca, stars as Clough's bitter rival Don Revie and the Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent has been cast as Sam Longson, the Chairman of Derby County and Timothy Spall plays the part of Clough's right-hand man and “only friend” Peter Taylor.

The film is based on the best-selling novel by David Peace and has been adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Last King of Scotland and Frost/Nixon) and the film is being directed by Tom Hooper (John Adams, Longford and Elizabeth I).

The London-based international public relations company representing the production confirmed to the Bulletin yesterday that the film will be shooting on location in Majorca at the start of July and more information about the story line and if local extras are going to be needed will be made available nearing the shooting dates.

Financed by BBC Films, Colombia Pictures and Screen Yorkshire, the film is due to go on worldwide release next year. Set in the 1960's and 1970's England, The Damned United tells the confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough's 44 days as manager of the English champions Leeds United. Previously managed by his bitter rival Don Revie, and on the back of the club's most successful period ever, Leeds had an aggressive and cynical style of football.

The principled and flamboyant Clough had already achieved great success as manager of Hartlepool and Derby County building teams in his own vision with his trusty lieutenant Peter Taylor.

Taking the Leeds job without Taylor by his side, with a changing room full of Don's boys, would lead to an unheralded examination of Clough's belligerence and brilliance over just 44 days. This is the story of The Damned United.

BBC Film's Christine Langan says The Damned United is an urgent and compelling movie about success, hunger and love. “BBC Films is thrilled to be working with some of Britain's top talent and to be part of this passionate portrait of a footballing legend, Brain Clough, a one-off in the game of life as he was in football.” Filming has already started on locations throughout Yorkshire and in London and the production is expected to start filming here with Michael Sheen in Majorca on July 2.

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