LORD Richard Attenborough is desperately hoping his new film will still go ahead - even though financial constraints are threatening to stop it being made.

The OSCAR-winning director, 80, is optimistic CLOSING THE RING - a $30.6 million (GBP17 million) production starring Dennis Hopper and MENA SUVARI - will become one of his masterpieces, and he'd be devastated if strict British legislation prevents him from shooting the movie.

However, with the government announcing it is closing a loophole where investors in British films could set against tax losses, Attenborough believes the film could be doomed.

The Gandhi director says, "It's a terrible blow, not only to myself but to the producer, scriptwriters and the entire team.

"It's such a fantastic film - with the best screenplay I think I have ever read first time.

"It would be such a waste if it was never made but it's not looking good.

"This tax break has destroyed dozens of British films and many people have been bankrupted because of it."

30/03/2004 13:59