http://www.fifa.com/en/display/mrel,71940.html Lawrence Bender to produce GOAL! Trilogy (excerpted) FIFA and some of Hollywood's leading producers have today announced a co-operation agreement which will set the pace for the "world's favourite sport" to be at the centre of a major Hollywood trilogy. The first film is scheduled to be released at the end of 2004. Multiple Oscar-winner Lawrence Bender ("Kill Bill", "The Mexican", “Pulp Fiction", "Good Will Hunting" to name but a few), who has been nominated for an Academy Award 19 times has joined forces with producers and former media and sports industry executives Mike Jefferies and Matt Barrelle to develop what they call "the most powerful football movie of all time". Fast-paced, with an exceptionally good story, GOAL! will be a series of films with breathtaking sequences similar to those in "Matrix", a grabbing story-line like "Rocky", combined with the urban awareness of Eminem's "8 Mile”. It will be the very first Hollywood production about football - and the entire production will include the best talent available anywhere in the world today. This Hollywood movie will be a truly global affair, with the worlds of business and sport joining forces with Hollywood for the very first time." The first film depicts the trials and tribulations of a young Latino player from East LA who wants to live his dream and join an English Premiership club. The second and the third film portray his career, first of all in Europe, where he succeeds against all the odds and is transferred to a European club. Finally, in the third movie, which is scheduled to be released ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany, he fights for the greatest honour of all and joins his national squad as an established, accomplished player. "Naturally, it was my intent to create a very real, a very typical lead character, one who exists in real life all over in the world today, where young men and women want to live their dream. Equally clearly, this cannot be a simple story of a young man quickly reaching the pinnacle of this sport: pain and suffering, love and hate, success and failure are all ingredients of the story, which reflects reality in a way never seen before in a movie about football. I firmly believe that we have managed to create the type of story which will appeal to virtually all age groups, and one that will move people around the world," said Mike Jefferies. Final arrangements are currently being negotiated with clubs that would feature in the first two movies. Talks are at an advanced stage with English Premier League clubs, as well as with some of the most prominent mainland European clubs. The final decision is expected within two to three weeks. As for the main sponsors of the movie, final negotiations are under way with some of the world's leading sports goods manufacturers in Europe and the US. Five of FIFA's Official Partners have expressed a direct interest in being part of this project and all talks are scheduled to be finalised by the end of September. "We expect to be ready to set up a training camp for the actors in the UK by mid-October, which would allow us to meet our set pre-production and production deadlines," says Bender. "We have just about finished our talks with some of the hottest young Latino actors in Hollywood today and are hopeful that an agreement can be signed with one of them within the next few weeks. With FIFA firmly on board, we are all set to go. And an exciting trip it will be," he continued. The three films are set to be released in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively. Shooting is scheduled to begin by the end of January, or in early February 2004.