It's taken a while, but Gerard Butler is finally going to answer his calling as an action star. The genre-hopping tough guy found success with a couple of romantic comedies, but his Oscar bid for "Machine Gun Preacher" fell short, so he's redoubling his efforts to become an A-List head-smasher. Butler's attached to Naval thriller "Hunter Killer," war picture "Thunder Run" and a heist film, "Brilliant," and now he's going to follow in the footsteps of fellow tough guys Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas and Wesley Snipes. You guessed it: he's going to
steal the Declaration of Independence save the President Of The United States, in the jargon-y sounding "Olympus Has Fallen."
Butler will play an ex-Secret Service agent in the actioner, in charge of stopping a terrorist attack on the White House. No other details have been released, but since he's an ex-agent, we do hope he's a rogue and a renegade. Butler's developing the project (which sounds a little like the abandoned Ryan Reynolds project "Motorcade") with neophyte writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, and the material is currently out to directors. Expect this to be a down-and-dirty affair, as it's from producer Avi Lerner and his fly-by-night Millennium Films. Millennium: where the shooting locations are obscure, the actors are paid in cash, and there is almost zero creative oversight.
Butler's slate is more than full, and he's got three movies coming this year from different genres. He'll get jokey in "Movie 43" and saucy in sports rom-com "Playing The Field". His best showcase is likely coming in Curtis Hanson's biopic "Of Men And Mavericks," however, playing a mentor to surfer Jay Moriarty. We thought Butler was strong in the recent "Coriolanus," and in a perfect world, he'd be able to do all sorts of films in different genres. But this stockpiling of action roles suggests he realizes he'll be a bit old soon, and it's better to wield a gun now than in the inevitable "Expendables IV." Photos via the New York Times.