The Big Picture
- Gurinder Chadha, the writer/director of Bend It Like Beckham, initially didn’t want to make a sequel to the film due to the magic created by the original cast.
- The recent success of the Lionesses football team at the World Cup has sparked Chadha’s interest in exploring a possible sequel, despite her previous reservations.
- Bend It Like Beckham tackles gender and cultural norms, following the story of a British Indian teenager who pursues her passion for football against her traditional parents’ wishes. The film is available to stream on Hulu, Disney+, and Paramount+.
It’s been 21 years since writer/director Gurinder Chadha took the world by storm with her 2002 feature Bend It Like Beckham, but the comedy still remains a staple on many watchlists today. In the time since the film’s release, Chadha didn’t consider making a sequel, wanting to leave what makes the film so special right where it is. However, times change and so do thoughts — including Chadha’s original ones on a Bend It Like Beckham Sequel.
During a recent interview with UK’s Metro, Chadha shared that a Bend It Like Beckham sequel might be on the horizon. She said that she didn’t want to mess with the “magic” of the original, primarily crediting the film’s cast. Thanks to a historic success from the Lionesses football team at the World Cup, Chadha began to rethink her plans (or initial lack thereof) for a sequel. She said:
“I never really wanted to make a sequel to the film, because I just thought the way Parminder [Nagra] and Keira [Knightley] played it, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Archie Panjabi, I could never really follow that up and create that same magic in the same way. But with the recent success of football, I just feel like I’m starting to percolate an idea for a possible sequel of some kind.”
What Is ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ About?
Bend It Like Beckham centers on Jess (Parminder Nagra), a British Indian teenager who holds a strong passion for British football — and legendary football star David Beckham. Despite Jess’ love and dedication for the sport, her parents — who hold much more traditional views — would rather Jess focus on school and, eventually, settle down with a nice husband. However, when Jules (Keira Knightley) invites Jess to join the local women’s football team, Jess and Jules’ longtime dreams start becoming reality. Throughout the years, the film has been lauded for the way it approaches gender and cultural norms, providing an insightful lens through Jess while smashing barriers along the way.
Bend It Like Beckham was written and directed by Chadha, who has also done films such as Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Blinded by the Light. She co-wrote Bend It Like Beckham with Guljit Bindra and Paul Mayeda Berges. Along with Knightley and Nagra, the film stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the women’s team coach Joe, Archie Panjabi, Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan, Juliet Stevenson, Frank Harper, and more.
Bend It Like Beckham is currently available to stream on Hulu, Disney+, and Paramount+.