Gerard Butler likes his football (he played for charity last year) and his footie films. He seems to pick one once every few years, and now we’re facing the prospect of another. The actor and avowed Celtic fan is now set to play a real life, heroic player in Dynamo.
Sourced from Andy Dougan’s novel Dynamo: Defending The Honour Of Kiev, and written into script form by Eli Richbourg, Dynamo will chronicle the historic game between an occupied Ukrainian team and their Nazi captors during World War II.
Figuring that they could break the tide of resistance in the battered city, the Nazis set up a match between a squad of well-treated German players and a starving bunch of Ukrainians.
But they didn’t count on the spirit of the occupied players, especially that of Nikolai Trusevich, the goalie who ended up inspiring his team and encouraging the entire city to fight back against the invaders. The game ended up going down in history as The Death Match. It's one of the inspirations for Escape To Victory, but it's fair to say that Sylvester Stallone was no Trusevich.
Butler is on to play Trusevich, and the producers – including Journey 2’s Beau Flynn – hope to have filming underway in Europe next year, once they’ve recruited a director. Football also features in Butler’s next film, romantic comedy Playing For Keeps, which is out on January 1. Though there he’ll have to deal with Catherine Zeta-Jones overenthusiastic soccer mom, not Nazis. The defence strategy, we feel, might be similar.