Stevens directed the upcoming four-part Netflix documentary series devoted to the life of the former footballer, and he told the Guardian newspaper that it was DiCaprio who suggested him to the star subject.
“David was hanging out with Leo, and asked him who he should get,” he said. “He recommended me! David watched Before the Flood then Palmer [the 2021 Apple TV+ drama starring Justin Timberlake] that I directed and saw something he liked – the emotion I guess.”
Besides his acting career, Stevens has a strong pedigree in the documentary-making field. He won an Oscar for his 2009 film about dolphin hunting in Japan, The Cove, and went on to work with DiCaprio on the climate crisis documentary Before The Flood.
Despite this, he was uncertain about taking on the Beckham project, until his Succession writers, especially showrunner Jesse Armstrong who is British, told him: “‘You cannot not do this. This is a great story.’”
The series goes behind the scenes of the lives of Beckham and his pop star turned fashion designer wife Victoria. It also retreads the history of Beckham’s footballing career, which is a rich story, to be sure.
It saw him enjoy great success with Manchester United, join the England team where he became a national pariah after being sent off with a red card during a key World Cup match against Argentina in 1998, received death threats and abuse for several years, but managed to overcome the backlash to the point where he later stepped out as England captain. He went on to become one of the world’s most high-profile sportsmen, cashing in with lucrative brand partnerships, and is now a co-owner of Inter Miami CF, which has enjoyed a successful star signing this season in Lionel Messi.