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Marc Forster's 'Machine Gun Preacher' Starring Gerard Butler Set For September 23rd Release

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 7, 2011 5:45 AM
6 Comments
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It was only a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that Marc Forster's "Machine Gun Preacher," a potential Oscar vehicle for Gerard Butler, was moving from Lionsgate to Relativity who planned to give the film the full awards season treatment. And it looks like they are going to get this one out of the gate pretty damn early.

Relativity has announced that the film will kick off in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on September 23rd before rolling out to more cities in the weeks to follow. It might seem far too early to start an Oscar bid but the studio is likely hoping to use that time build critical consensus and word of mouth about the film that deals with some challenging material. Based on a true story, it's a biopic of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing Hell’s Angel who found God, set up an orphanage in Sudan in the 1990s, and then formed a militia to prevent the children from being turned into child soldiers. Butler plays Childer, with a decent cast including Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker and Souleymane Sy Savane in support, and Marc Forster, who had moderate success in the awards race a few years back with both “Monster’s Ball” and “Finding Neverland,” is at the helm. All the ingredients are there, but will it work?

The filmmakers think so. Forster personally asked Lionsgate to move the film to a studio that would give it awards season push he thinks it deserves and early word is that Butler's performance is truly something great. With the release now just a few months away, we'd guess trailer will pop up soon giving us a taste, and it seems inevitable that critics will get to sample it at TIFF. "And the winner is....Gerard Butler"? We don't believe it now, but we're willing to be convinced. [Deadline]

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6 Comments

  • paisley | July 8, 2011 12:36 PMReply

    Thank you Linda. Glad I'm not the only one who understands how misinformed comments like those are. We have known for some time what the doubters are about to find out. Mr. Butler is a formidable acting talent, and not one to be dismisssed lightly. All he needed is exactly the right combination of story and script, along with a director confident enough to let him live the role. And as for the title, what a typically uninformed statement for someone to make.

  • paisley | July 8, 2011 4:10 AMReply

    Linda & tilzey...
    You are invited to check out my live journal called "Larger Than Life" at
    http://paisley3691.livejournal.com
    It's exclusively about Mr. Butler, and gossip & scandal free. Have a great day!

  • tilzey | July 8, 2011 3:39 AMReply

    If you have any doubt about Butler's abilities to play a range that is powerful, take time to see "Dear Frankie", "Please" and the mini-series "The Jury". In "Dear Frankie" Gerry Butler's "the Stranger" is poignant, sensitive and so sexy, all accomplished with great understatement. in Please" he conveys such extremes of desperation and elation in a short film. In the"The Jury" Gerry shows us a very vulnerable, fractured young jurist with a tiny bit of hope blooming, and then crushed, leading to a severe fall-back into the bottle he had just struggled to defeat.
    Gerry Butler is willing to lose himself in his roles, and he always finds an additional component of his character's personality that isn't expected.
    It may be faddish to be critical, but this time, you are fully uninformed.

  • Linda | July 8, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    Apparently neither one of you know anything about Mr. Childers or Mr. Butler. The only excuse I have for these two comments.

  • Edward Davis | July 7, 2011 9:35 AMReply

    It's a lionsgate pass off coming out in September starring Gerard Butler. It get Oscars when pigs fly out of my ass.

  • BradZuhl | July 7, 2011 9:17 AMReply

    They've gotta change the name if they're serious about Oscar consideration. Machine Gun Preacher sounds too much like a cheesy genre picture, like Hobo with a Shotgun.

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