Kuala Lumpur – 13 August 2013 – Sundance Channel will present the exclusive premiere of the acclaimed feature-length television drama United on 13 September at 10pm. The premiere highlights the network’s commitment to offering audiences high quality films, documentaries and original series.
United is based on the true story of Manchester United’s legendary “Busby Babes,” the youngest ever to win the Football League; the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of their lives; and the extraordinary spirit of a city that rebuilt the team in the wake of the disaster.
David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) stars as coach Jimmy Murphy, alongside Jack O’Connell (“Skins”) as Bobby Charlton and Sam Claflin (Pirates Of The Caribbean) as star player Duncan Edwards. Manager Matt Busby is played by Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible II). The film draws on first-hand interviews with the survivors and their families to tell the inspirational story of a team and community overcoming terrible tragedy.
It’s 1956 and the UK has found its first heartthrobs of the post-war era in the “Busby Babes” – a good looking and prodigiously talented team of young football players, including young teenager Bobby Charlton and teammates Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones (Thomas Howes: “Downton Abbey”) and Eddie Colman (Philip Hill Pearson: “Shameless”). Coach Jimmy Murphy and the revered but intimidating boss Matt Busby guide the club to glory after glory.
By 1958 the Babes are riding high on the crest of a wave until the scheduling of a European Cup Tie in Belgrade demands that Busby charter a special flight to return the team to Manchester in time for Saturday’s kick off. During a refuelling stop at Munich airport, the arctic weather closes in. On a third attempt at take off, the plane never leaves the ground, crashing into a fuel dump. Twenty-three people on board the aircraft die as a result of their injuries, including eight of the Busby Babes.
The disaster sends shockwaves around the world. While Manchester mourns its sporting heroes, the surviving players are devastated, unsure whether they will ever play again. Critically injured, Busby is riddled with guilt about his decision to charter the plane, and with no insurance on the players, the powerhouse that was Manchester United seems doomed.
Tennant commented on the film: “On a very basic level it’s a true story but it also looks at the arbitrary nature of fate, the capriciousness of life and the triumph of the human spirit. The film deals with how we pull ourselves together after tragedy, because people cope with grief in so many different ways. We’re telling an utterly compelling and dramatic story as it happened.”
United was shot in and around the north of England and was originally seen on BBC Two in the UK. Written by Chris Chibnall (“Law & Order: UK”) and directed by James Strong (“Doctor Who”), the film is produced by Julia Stannard (The History Boys) and executive produced by World Productions Simon Heath (“Larkin: Love Again”) and Polly Hill for the BBC.
United will be repeated on 16 Sept. at 00:00, 21 Sept. at 19:00 & 25 Sept. at 00:30.