The great remake?

AS a movie it was never going to trouble the Oscar judges – but for football fans across Suffolk Escape to Victory will alway be remembered as the cult hit of 1981.

It featured half of Town’s legendary UEFA Cup-winning team as extras or bit-part actors – and they stole the show during the football scenes.

The film starred Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone – but now soccer hardman turned film star Vinnie Jones wants to remake it with a modern cast.

And he hopes to cast David Beckham in the role made famous by England’s World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore.

When the film hit the big screen the names of the Town players were not at the top of the cast list – but their performances are fondly remembered by Town fans. John Wark and Russell Osman had speaking roles as team-mates of Caine and Stallone – and Kevin Beattie was “stunt double” for Caine in some of the footballing shots.

Former defender Osman said that he would like to see a re-make of the movie that took him from the Portman Road turf to the big screen at the Gaumont.

“It was good fun – we filmed it over five weeks during the summer of 1981 in Budapest. It was something very different for us and we had a great time.

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“John and I had small speaking roles and it was great working with the film stars on the project.”

The film’s cult status ensures that it remains a staple of daytime television schedules.

“It’s good to see it cropping up from time to time. I think it would be very good to have a modern remake, I would certainly give it a look,” he added.

In the film a team of professional footballers are being held in a PoW camp and the goalkeeper – played by former Town winger Kevin O’Callaghan – has his arm broken to allow Stallone to take his place in the team.

The players were on something of a high when they filmed Escape to Victory – Ipswich were a European force having just won the UEFA Cup and only just missing out on the league championship which had been snatched from them by Aston Villa.

As well as Osman and Wark there were also two Town players in the “opposition” – Laurie Sivell played in goal for the Germans and Robin Turner was also in that team. Escape to Victory was made by legendary director John Huston but was never considered one of his finest works.

However Vinnie Jones is reported to be hoping to revive the story – and he has form in this. One of his most successful recent films was The Mean Machine, a remake of the 1970s Burt Reynolds movie.

A new version of Escape to Victory with David Beckham would certainly have transatlantic appeal, but there is no word on who might take on the Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone roles in any remake – or which team might provide the footballing talent!

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