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March 2004 - UPDATED AUGUST 2004
Goal! - Welcome to Tinseltoon!
Freddy Shepherd and Diego Luna
Chairman Freddy Shepherd with Goal! star - Diego Luna.
The passion of football teams up with the glamour of Hollywood as Newcastle United and the city becomes the backdrop to the first part of a multi-million pound movie trilogy.

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All about Diego
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Goal! is based on a screenplay written by Mike Jefferies and Adrian Butchart.

The first movie is due to be released in February 2005.

Part two of the trilogy will be based around the Spanish club - Real Madrid.
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Goal! update - 6/8/2004

Producers of Goal! have announced that Danny Cannon will be the new director of the trilogy. He replaces Michael Winterbottom, who left the project due to creative differences.

Who's Danny Cannon you ask?

Well, Cannon is currently the director, executive producer and writer of American dramas, CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York. He has also directed a number of films, including: Judge Dredd, I still know what you did last summer and The Young Americans.

Filming of Goal! in Newcastle will recommence in November.

It's almost a movie script in itself; Newcastle United Football Club are to star in a major Hollywood film

Diego Luna at the press conference
Diego Luna - The Alan Shearer of Hollywood?

Goal! is a trilogy that charts the rise of young Hispanic footballer, Santiago, from the Premier League to World Cup star.

There is a truly international feel to this project with Diego Luna, (Y tú mama también, Open Range and Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights) cast as the young footballer.

He's joined by Stellan Skarsgard ( Breaking The Waves, Good Will Hunting), Kieron O'Brien (Burn it, Band of Brothers) and James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, Murphy's Law) who will play Santiago's Agent.

Music will also play an important part in the movie, with big-name artists being lined up to create songs for the soundtrack.

Blockbuster backing

The trio of films are being produced by Los Angeles film production company, Milkshake Films, and has the backing of Mel Gibson's Icon Productions. The project also has the full support of football's governing body, FIFA.

Producer Mike Jefferies described Newcastle as "a wonderful backdrop, with very colourful people and fans as passionate as anywhere in the world"

Mike Jefferies
Producer - Mike Jefferies

Preliminary filming started on the big budget feature, with a trip to Mallorca to record footage of play from Newcastle's fourth round UEFA Cup game.

There is also a chance for locals to see themselves on celluloid, as producers will be looking for extras when they start shooting around the city. (However, BBC Tyne has no further details on this and are just as keen to be in a Hollywood film as you are!)

Goal! starts shooting at the end of April, so keep your eyes peeled and you could just end up appearing in a Hollywood flick!

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