The Japan rugby union team on Sunday thrashed tournament newcomers Chile 42-12 on the first weekend of the freshly kicked-off Rugby World Cup. But in 2015, Japan were the underdogs and yet pulled off a surprise result against rugby titans South Africa.
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In the first ever match between the two nations Japan won 34-32, due to an 80th minute try.
“The Brighton Miracle,” a docu-drama capturing and re-constructing that shock match, has been picked up by Blue Sky Media. The film was produced by Syn Entertainment and the rights outside of Japan were brokered by producer’s rep Summer & Co.
The film was written and directed by Max Mannix (“Dance of the Dragon,” “Tokyo Trial,” “Rain Fall”). Mannix, himself a former professional rugby player, lived more than a decade in Japan and wrote the Kurosawa Kiyoshi-directed “Tokyo Sonata,” which debuted in Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2008.
“The Brighton Miracle” follows Eddie Jones, played in re-enactments by New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison (“The Book of Boba Fett”), the Australian-Japanese coach who had previously been technical consultant to South Africa when the team won the World Cup in 2007. Jones was appointed to train the Japanese national team in 2012 and did so until the end of Japan’s World Cup run. After that he became England coach and is now back at the World Cup having been appointed head coach to Australia in January this year.
“The Brighton Miracle” follows Jones’ plans to defy convention in order to put a stop to Japan being the laughing stock of world rugby, and his relentless techniques that pushed everybody to the brink of despair, including staff, assistant coaches and team manager, JR, played by Masa Yamaguchi (“The Condemned”).
The film features an original score by Syn’s creative director and Emmy-Award winning composer, Nick Wood, including an original solo song by Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon, called “The Story of How.” Syn incorporated innovative music production techniques to bring the story to life through music and sound, including recording drum-mallets on rugby balls to mimic the sound of orchestral drums. The soundtrack album release in Japan on Sept. 1.
“It’s safe to say the world was shocked when Japan, the underdog of Rugby, defeated South Africa in 2015 – but not many people know the story behind how the team were able to accomplish such a feat,” said Richard Signeski, CEO of Blue Sky Media. “Having only previously been distributed in Japan, it’s our privilege to bring this film to global audiences right in time for this year’s Rugby World Cup.”
“I have always loved the creative bond between filmmaking and music, it’s like two good friends climbing Mount Fuji together; it can be a nightmare on the way up, but an incredible reward for all your hard work when you see the sunrise,” said Wood, producer and founder of Syn Entertainment.
- New Zealand’s Taika Waititi, whose soccer tale “Next Goal Wins” is this week playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, is also launching “Tour de Rugby.” The six-part short-format documentary series celebrates French culture and Waititi’s passion for rugby, premieres exclusively on NZR+. In the opening match of Rugby World Cup, New Zealand’s All Blacks lost to host nation France. Waititi, who won an Academy Award for “Jojo Rabbit” and also made Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” assembles an eclectic ensemble of esteemed guests – including Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco and rugby legends Jerome Kaino, Andrew Mehrtens and Sébastien Chabal – as they delve into the tapestry of France’s cultural opulence and historical legacy.