Gerard Butler Feels The Afterburn

He'll scour a scorched Earth...

He’s most recently been seen paired with Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter and heard fighting giant reptiles in How to Train Your Dragon, but now Gerard Butler is getting back into full-on action mode, entering talks to join director Antoine Fuqua on comic book adaptation Afterburn.

The title has been floating around Movie-Land for a couple of years now, with Tobey Maguire originally attached back when he was still King Comic Book with the Spider-Man films. Fast-forward a couple of years and Relativity Media is looking to hook Fuqua to make the film with Butler starring.

Originally created by Paul Ens and Scott Chitwood for Red 5 Comics, Afterburn sees half of the Earth’s surface devastated by a solar flare. The remaining chunk is rendered extremely dangerous thanks to radiation, which has mutated much of the animal life and any remaining humans.

If he does sign, Butler would play one of a group of mercenaries who make their living jetting back to the planet to retrieve priceless artefacts such as the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone, the Crown Jewels and Simon Cowell’s missing soul. Okay, maybe not the last one. The job is made more difficult by the mutant beasts and rival treasure seekers. Word of Butler's likely casting was first shoved into Twitter-land by Pajiba's reliable sources last month.

Torque/Into the Blue writer Matt Johnson was the first person attached to bash out a draft, but now Deadline reports that A Man Apart’s Christian Gudegast is being tapped to rewrite. Glad to see they’re keeping with the tradition of people who’ve written dodgy thrillers, then. With luck, Afterburn could be something better – but first it has to achieve escape velocity from development’s gravitational grasp.