Skip to main content

The Beautiful Game — cast, plot and all about this emotional movie about the homeless England football team

The Beautiful Game on Netflix features Bill Nighy playing football coach Mal.
The Beautiful Game on Netflix features Bill Nighy playing football coach Mal. (Image credit: Getty)

The Beautiful Game coming to Netflix and Film 4 will show what happens to a bunch of homeless men who pull together to represent England at football's Homeless World Cup in Italy. We've seen this premise before of course, with films such as The Full Monty and Brassed Off, where desperate men come together for a common goal, and both movies were very successful in the 1990s. So could The Beautiful Game give us another similar gem? 

Here's all we know about The Beautiful Game arriving on Netflix soon..

The Beautiful Game release date

As The Beautiful Game has just finished filming a release date for the film hasn't been announced by Netflix or Film 4 but we're expecting it to arrive some time in 2022 or early 2023.

Is there a trailer for The Beautiful Game?

There's no trailer yet for The Beautiful Game but Netflix/Film 4 will no doubt give us one a few months before the release date. We'll be updating of course when we can.

The Beautiful Game cast

There's a great cast for The Beautiful Game. Among them is Bill Nighy (Emma, Love Actually, Pirates of The Carribbean) playing the England team coach Mal.

Look out too for Callum Scott Howells as Nathan. Callum hit superstardom around the world earlier this year for his emotional performance as Colin (aka Gladys Pugh) in the hit drama It's A Sin on Channel 4 in the UK and HBO Max in the US. Callum gave us a hint of his excitement when he posted about The Beautiful Game on Instagram while filming in Rome, Italy (see below).

Michael Ward (Small Axe and Netflix series Top Boy) plays Vinny, while other stars include Valeria Golino (The Morning Show), Kit Young (Shadow & Bone), Sheyi Cole (Small Axe), Robin Nazari (Snabba Cash), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers Infinity War), Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes), Layo-Christina Akinlude (The End of the F**king World) and Cristina Rodlo (No One Gets Out Alive).

A post shared by Callum Scott Howells (@callumshowells) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Callum Scott Howells as Colin in 'It's a Sin'

Callum Scott Howells as Colin in 'It's a Sin'. (Image credit: Channel 4)

The Beautiful Game plot — what happens in the movie?

Led by their coach Mal (Bill Nighy), The Beautiful Game follows the England soccer/football team as they travel from London to Rome for the Homeless World Cup. At the last minute they decide to bring with them talented striker Vinny (Micheal Ward), but he must confront his own issues and once-promising past in order to help the team and move on with his own life.

The Beautiful Game star Michael Ward in Top Boy.

The Beautiful Game star Michael Ward in Top Boy. (Image credit: Netflix)

The Beautiful Game — behind the scenes

The Beautiful Game is directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You) while the  screenplay is by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man). Producers are Blueprint Pictures' Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin with Anita Overland. Blueprint Pictures’ Ben Knight and Diarmuid McKeown serve as executive producers alongside Ollie Madden and Daniel Battsek at Film4, which helped develop the project.

The Beautiful Game is a film about succeeding against the odds. Our film shows the joy, drama and excitement of this real life tournament and the enormous potential of people left behind by society,” said Graham Broadbent. “We’ve worked closely with the Homeless World Cup Foundation and our writer Frank has met many players from who’s real life stories he has created our characters, and we’re happy to welcome many former players from the real tournament to be a part of the filming in Rome and London.”

Mel Young, President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, says: adds: “We are incredibly excited to be the focus of the upcoming film The Beautiful Game. The Homeless World Cup is our contribution to tackling the homeless problem across the globe but there is so much more to do,” , President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation. “We have proved just how powerful football can be when it is applied to a social problem and we will keep striving to do more. We hope that the work we do being told in The Beautiful Game inspires more people to join in and support future Homeless World Cups and together we can all aim to end homelessness forever."

The Beautiful Game locations

From Callum Scott Howell's Instagram post, we know the cast have been filming in Rome, Italy. The Beautiful Game cast and crew will then move to London for filming later this year.

* More guides to top Netflix movies and series below...

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.