The producers of the feature film trilogy GOAL! announced on 17 August that director/writer/producer Danny Cannon has been signed as the new director of the $100M soccer epic. FIFA endorses the project with a co-operation agreement that was signed in September 2003.

After having shot a significant amount of match action at a number of Barclays Premiership games at the end of last season, the production was halted when the initial Director, Michael Winterbottom walked out citing "creative differences". 

Pre-production for Goal! is now slated to continue in a week, and filming (including 3 or 4 more Newcastle United games) will take place in Newcastle, London, Los Angeles and Mexico.

A 'Brit', Cannon is much feted in Hollywood having co-created the critically acclaimed Emmy winning CBS drama CSI, which has become one of the most successful TV series ever. Goal! marks a return to feature film directing for Cannon who directed The Young Americans, Judge Dredd and Phoenix.

Goal! is the first chapter in a trilogy about a young Latino, DIEGO LUNA (Terminal, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Dirty Dancing 2, Open Range) who dreams of becoming an international soccer star. The first movie is a classic rags to riches tale, which sees the hero journeying from the Barrios of East LA to the glamour of the Barclays Premiership to try and win a pro contract with Newcastle United.

The second movie in the Goal! trilogy sees him playing in the UEFA Champions League with the world's most glamorous Soccer team, Real Madrid. And in the third movie, he plays in Germany, in the world's biggest sporting event, the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals.

"Football is the world's favourite sport", said Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President. Football's message is one of fair play, one that transcends religious beliefs, gender and social class. It is the most inclusive game in the world and it deserves to be portrayed as what it is: a sport that allows the underprivileged to enjoy success. Based on their very own dedication and effort, and based on discipline plus hard work by building on their individual gift. These are key values of football and these values will be expressed in the Goal! Movies. These are also the reasons why FIFA decided to join forces with the producers and endorse the project".

For further Goal!-related information and production updates please contact Kate Lee at Freud Communications on  ++44 7771 600070  or email kate@freud.com