Michael Winterbottom is set to direct Goal!, the first film in a trilogy that follows a Latino soccer player as he moves to the UK to play for one of the territory's top-flight Premiership teams.
The second and third films in the trilogy will follow the player as he moves to a club in Spain, and then plays in the World Cup, although Winterbottom is only confirmed for the first one at this stage.
Reportedly set up as a three-way co-production between Milkshake Films, Icon Entertainment and Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton's Revolution Films, Goal! is set to start shooting in the UK at the end of April, with a base at Shepperton Studios. Producers are Mike Jefferies, Matt Barrelle, Bruce Davey and Andrew Eaton. Paul Tucker is co-producing, while Anita Overland has an associate producer credit. Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill producer Lawrence Bender executive produces.
International soccer body FIFA has lent its support to the high-profile trilogy, and producers have been in talks with UK clubs about collaborating with the film.
Goal! continues Winterbottom's prolific work rate after refugee drama In This World - which won the foreign language BAFTA - and the sci fi film Code 46, which will be released through Verve Pictures in the UK later this year.
Last month, Winterbottom revealed that he had been working on an untitled sexually explicit relationship drama on DV with $30,000 in development money from United Artists.