Exclusive! You will be as excited as I am by the news that Hollywood is poised to make another football movie, the first, to my recollection, since the marvellous Escape To Victory, starring Sylvester Stallone, Bobby Moore, Michael Caine and Pele as Allied prisoners of war taking on the might of the Reich at the beautiful game. Sly's goalkeeping still lives with me, as does Michael's stomach, which had a life of its own, particularly during his deep runs from midfield.
Goal!, supposedly the first of a trilogy, has equally promising credentials, including its producer, Laurence Bender, the man behind Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting, and David Beckham, who is said to be close to agreeing a role. Marvellous luck, then, that an early draft of the script has come into my possession. Constraints of space prevent me from printing the whole thing, but I think these key extracts will provide a flavour.
Opening Scene: Shot of Big Ben, shrouded in thick fog, caption, "London, England", followed by shot of Buckingham Palace, caption, "Buckingham Palace, London, England". Sound effect: breaking glass, followed by yelp of a dog.
Kindly copper (Arnold Schwarzenegger): "Evenin' You All! Lord, lummie, it's really brass chimps tonight! 'Ere, though, what the blue fires was that? Sounds as if one of the corgis has gone for a Bloomingdales! Hold up, there, or it'll be hasta la vista, chummie! Why, hit a light, it's young Davey! How dare you to play association football in this the Palace's front yard?"
Davey Beckingham (blond kid with braces and Alice band): "Sorry, Sarge, I got a bit bored, took a kick, and it bent right into that window, all on its own, couldn't believe it. Where is everybody, anyway? They said I'd got a trial at Palace."
KP: "Boom, boom! On your way, sonny, this ain't no place for a punk like you!"
Davey: "Punk? Punk? Hmm. That might be an interesting look. Anyway, I'm going to own somewhere just like this one day, you'll see."
KP: "Yeah, right...[winks at camera]...and I'll be the Governor of California!"
Scene: Ten years later. Davey's fabulous home, known to the pun-loving British Press as Sandringham House. Now a very successful footballer, he has just returned from honeymoon with his beautiful wife, the singer, Porsche Space. They are in their bedroom.
PS (Emma Thompson) (huskily): "Talk dirty to me, Davey."
DB (Brad Pitt, talking body double):
Scene: The London United dressing room, just after Davey has scored six against Arsenal Town to win the FA Cap.
Davey: "Went dashed well, on the whole, I thought."
Jock McGrudge, London United manager (Sir Derek Jacobi): "Schwogger. Eufetjesting. Mae eld wee granny cooda hard seeven, yee pawkbitty cocknieflub. Armani, Gabbani, Versace! Smickwitting Spanish groobletwickers! Gae join em! I'm awa! Kempton Park! Towcester!"
Davey: "That's easy for you to say! But, worry not, I shall go to Spain. So farewell, or, as they say in Madrid, adidas!"
JMcG: "Eu asked fer ait! Here, have thas wun!"
Scene: The England press conference, just after the World Cup Final against Brazil.
Sven-Foreign Svedishpersson, England coach (Harvey Keitel, in spectacles): "Well, that was really quite exciting. It was, of course, something of a setback when we went five down, and even I, despite the thoroughness of our preparation, had not expected the bank robbers to try to shoot their way out and climb into the helicopter in the centre circle at the beginning of extra time. Davey did well at that juncture, keeping his head even though it was clear that none of our back four would be coming back, ever. I had no idea he was so talented with a pump-action shotgun. Nor had he told me that a crazed musician [Michael Douglas, in spectacles] had threatened to blow up the stadium unless his wife abandoned her career. So, inevitably, we lost a bit of our shape."
So there we have it. Pretty exciting stuff, I should have said, with "hit" stamped all over it. Sorry? You wouldn't expect me to give away the ending, surely. Hasta la vista, chummies!