Daniel Radcliffe Has Gone For Gold

Playing Seb Coe in the BBC Films project

Photo: Marco Vittur

Back in the dim, distant days of 2010, when Britain’s 2012 Olympic glory seemed like a fantasy, BBC Films decided to make a film about the rivalry between middle-distance runners Sebastian (AKA Lord) Coe and Steve Ovett. Gold, as it is now known, has been pottering along ever since but has now put on a burst of speed with news that The Woman In Black’s director James Watkins is aboard alongside that film’s star, one Daniel Radcliffe.

Though the film wasn’t ready for 2012, the addition of this particular duo gives it a much better chance of finally reaching our screens. Radcliffe will play Coe, in a story that charts the rivalry between Coe and Ovett – at times fierce; at others cordial – which began with a school cross-country race in 1972 and came to a head at the Moscow Games in 1980.

While Johnny English’s William Davies originally adapted the script from sportswriter Pat Butcher’s book about the match-up, The Perfect Distance, writing duties have now been taken by Simon Beaufoy and How To Train Your Dragon’s Will Davies. Watkins will aim to shoot the film in the UK and Russia starting in April next year.

Radcliffe will next be seen in birth-of-the-Beats drama Kill Your Darlings (out December 6) and the adaptation of Joe Hill’s horror novel Horns, which still doesn't have a UK release date despite us wishing very hard. He’s also got romantic drama The F Word under his belt and will soon start work on Paul McGuigan’s Frankenstein with James McAvoy.