For many futbol fans, there’s Diego Maradona and then there’s everyone else. The Argentine player made history in 1984 when he was signed for a world-record fee at Naples after wowing fans and coaches alike with gameplay that was then unrivaled. It was the beginning of what would be a legendary run as arguably one of the most famous and most talented players the world had ever seen. The soccer superstar — who can’t seem to stop making headlines for something or other these days — may be getting a TV biopic series soon, but audiences will first get to see his life in the latest documentary from Oscar winner Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna). Diego Maradona, which bowed at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is premiering on HBO and HBO Latino in October.
As with Kapadia’s other two docs, Diego Maradona is constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage. Most of it comes from Maradona’s personal archive — and with the full support of the man himself. The trailer already lives up to the film’s official synopsis which pits it as “the wild and unforgettable story of God-given talent, glory, despair and betrayal, of corruption and ultimately redemption.” And as if you needed more proof that it’s going to feature a treasure trove of footage, the HBO trailer gives us vintage images of the player at his prime, intercut with an assessment from none other than Pelé himself, who’s seen talking to press and pointing out that the Argentine wunderkind was not psychologically prepared for what was to come. His story, as many of us know, painfully bears that out with unreachable highs but also unspeakable lows.
Just as interested in the godlike adoration the player elicited as well as in the consequences such fame brought him, Diego Maradona looks at the twinned ways those closest to him understood him: there was “Diego” and there was “Maradona.” The former, as described and as seen in warm, grainy home videos, was sunny and warm and inviting. “With Diego, I would go to the end of the world,” we hear in voice over, “but with Maradona … I wouldn’t take a step.” Shots from his gamesmanship on the field (including a violent altercation that ends with a ripped shirt) further highlight the vast difference between the man and the legend. Showing audiences both recognizable moments from Maradona’s storied history (his infamous “Hand of God” goal, his World Cup win) as well as darker and more lurid images (bloodied cars with broken windows, the player mobbed by the press, his chumminess with the actual mob), the sports documentary will be sharing with viewers a Maradona they may have not ever seen. Take a look at the full trailer below.
Diego Maradona is available October 1, 2019, starting at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Latino, plus all of HBO’s digital platforms (HBO GO, HBO Now and HBO on Demand).