The life of late, great Dutch soccer star Johan Cruyff is the subject of a doc from Drive to Survive producer Box to Box Films and Dutch firm Lusus.
The currently unnamed doc is the first to be made about the former Ajax and Barcelona legend in collaboration with the Cruyff family.
Production begins later this year ahead of an intended Q3 or Q4 2025 launch. No network is yet attached but Box to Box and Lusus said they are “in talks with a number of interested broadcast platforms.”
The film will “shine a true light on the complex and charismatic life and career of a man that has been hailed as one of the most influential figures of the modern game and one of International football’s greatest players of all time.”
It will feature interviews with those close to Cruyff, who led the Dutch national team to the final of the 1978 World Cup, and accounts from other soccer legends that worked with him and were influenced by him.
Cryuff’s belief in ‘Total Football,’ a stylish possession-based system in which every player on a team can perform the functions of others and often does, made an indelible mark on the game.
He passed many of his ideas on a young Pep Guardiola when he was manager of Barcelona’s European Cup-winning ‘Dream Team’ of 1992. Guardiola went on to create one of the great Barcelona teams in the late 2000s and is now widely regarded as the greatest coach of the modern era, having achieved the treble of English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last season.
Box to Box is known for F1 doc series Drive to Survive, along with Break Point, Full Swing and Tour de France: Unchained, all of which were for Netflix. Dutch producer Lusus made That One Word: Feyenoord for Disney+ and Binnen Bij Oranje for Prime Video, along with a doc about Dutch international Daley Blind.
James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin from Box to Box Films) and Jaap Schneider from Lusus are executive producers.
Johan Cruyff’s son, the former soccer player Jordi Cruyff, said: “Many beautiful films have already been made about my father. For the first time ever my family and I have decided to participate in a project like this because we believe the time is right to do so. We aim for a masterpiece that encompasses, among others, the person behind the player and coach, his time at Ajax, FC Barcelona, the Dutch national team, his years in the USA, his impact on the game of football, and his enduring legacy that continues to inspire many people.”
Gay-Rees, Executive Producer for Box to Box Films, said: “To be in this privileged partnership with Lusus and the Cruyff family to tell the story of such a truly radical iconoclast, gives us as filmmakers the rare opportunity to really challenge the form of documentary film-making. The story of Cruyff demands nothing less; it’s massively exciting.”
Schneider, Executive Producer for Lusus said: “It’s not often that one is presented with the opportunity of telling the true and inside story of one of the all-time greats. And after seeing the Maradona, Pele and Michael Jordan documentary (series) in recent years I believe the Cruyff series could be even more potent because of his multi-layered character and the fact he wasn’t just a football player but a visionary on many levels. We are extremely proud to have been given the trust of the Cruyff family to tell this story from the inside out for the first time ever.”