What links Scarlett Johansson to the football fan with the flare up his bum?

·2 min read

Take a trip down the rabbit hole, passing a porcupine punk rocker, Diego Maradona and a Booker winner


Sing it back

The sequel to 2016’s animated jukebox musical Sing hits UK screens this week, with Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon again lending their voices to anthropomorphic animals who like to, well, sing. U2 feature with Your Song Saved My Life, the sort of textbook mid-tempo-ballad-for-a-movie that chalks up an Oscar nomination without touching the sides.

Bono and the Edge
Bono and the Edge of U2, whose Your Song Saved My Life features in Sing 2 … Photograph: Getty Images

All the people

Last year Bono and the Edge joined Dutch DJ Martin Garrix for the Euro 2020 (2021) anthem We Are the People, the sort of uptempo-ballad-for-a-football-tournament that is played at the opening ceremony and never heard again. Somewhat confusingly, the song’s video featured former Irish international Jason McAteer recreating a 2001 goal he scored for Ireland in an entirely different football competition, but that’s a rabbit hole all of its own.

Martin Garrix
... joined DJ Martin Garrix for the anthem for last year’s Euros ... Photograph: Shutterstock

Stuck in a Euros you can’t get out of

Few will forget the last Euros: England made the final, a fan stuck a flare in his backside, and Italy won the whole thing. In the quarter-finals, Roberto Mancini’s team dispatched much-fancied Belgium, with a stunning strike from Lorenzo Insigne getting them over the line.

Forza Napoli

Insigne is the current captain of Serie A side Napoli: an honour once held by Diego Maradona. The 1984 arrival of the world’s greatest footballer in Naples provides the backdrop of Paolo Sorrentino’s recent “extravagantly personal movie” The Hand of God (Netflix).

Diego Maradona
... Insigne captains Napoli; former captain Diego Maradona is subject of The Hand of God ... Photograph: Getty Images

She will follow

This Must Be the Place, Sorrentino’s so-so English language debut from 2011, featured the first major role for Irish actor Eve Hewson, more recently seen in the Netflix series Behind Her Eyes and the BBC’s The Luminaries. Hewson is the daughter of Bono who, as well as providing a song, lends his vocal talents as a reclusive rock star lion in English writer/director Garth Jennings’s … Sing 2.

Pairing notes

Watch Before Jennings bestrode Hollywood, he was one half of director/producer team Hammer & Tongs, makers of ingenious music videos, including the odyssey of a milk carton for Blur’s Coffee & TV.

Eat In Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning 2013 opus The Great Beauty, Jep, the writer-protagonist, has a working lunch of what looks like a tomato-based risotto. On sampling it, Jep wisely intones, “Reheated rice is always tastier than freshly cooked rice. The old is better than the new.”

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