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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Winterbottom leaves football film
Michael Winterbottom
Winterbottom's other films include 24-Hour Party People and Welcome to Sarajevo
Director Michael Winterbottom is no longer directing the football movie Goal! after leaving the project due to "creative differences".

Winterbottom's latest film Nine Songs has caused controversy because of its sexually explicit nature.

Goal!, the first in an expected trilogy, is set at Newcastle United's ground, St James' Park.

Co-producer Milkshake Films said it was seeking a new director, but added the film was still due for release in 2005.

The 55m film features Mexican actor Diego Luna, star of Y Tu Mama Tambien and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, as an American Latino footballer who transfers to the English Premiership.

Winterbottom had already shot some early material for the film, including footage from Newcastle's 3-0 Uefa Cup win against Spanish side Real Mallorca.

St James' Park
St James' Park is the home for the fictional team
Filming is also expected to take place around Newcastle city centre, with real-life Newcastle United players possibly involved.

The first movie will be released in February next year, with the final instalment due to hit cinema screens in time for the 2006 World Cup.

Winterbottom had originally only been confirmed to direct the first movie.

Nine Songs caused controversy at this year's Cannes Film Festival for featuring scenes of unsimulated sex.

The film has not yet been given a classification for release in the UK.


SEE ALSO:
Starring role for St James' Park
29 Mar 04  |  Tyne/Wear
Star defends 'sex film' at Cannes
18 May 04  |  Entertainment
Sex film actress defends UK movie
20 May 04  |  Entertainment


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