Daniel Radcliffe, who we all know as Harry from the “Harry Potter” movies, has been chosen to play two-time Olympic gold medalist and former 800-meter and mile record holder Sebastian Coe in a film about his fabled rivalry with fellow British middle distance runner Steve Ovett. The movie’s provisional title is “Gold.” It will be based on Pat Butcher’s book “The Perfect Distance”.
Filming is set to begin in the spring and there should be a theatrical release later in 2014. There has not been a solid casting for Steve Ovett as of yet, but I would imagine that it will be decided in the very near future. And after signing Radcliffe onto the project, I would hope that it would be someone who can match his popularity so as to not overshadow Ovett’s character in the film.
The movie will chronicle the years of the Coe-Ovett rivalry leading up to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where Ovett won the 800 and Coe the 1500-meter run. The screenplay is by Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy, who wrote “Slumdog Millionaire,” and Will Davies, who authored “How to Train Your Dragon.”
A press release from Embankment Films says “’Gold’ is a movie about an insatiable need to win, fueled by intense ambition, only possible through the support of loving family,” and calls it “the story of the gladiatorial rivalry between world-record breaking athletes Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. Driven hard by their families, two young men from very different backgrounds rewrote the record books and kept the whole nation – and then the world – gripped by their battle.”
Those in the running community might be put off by this initially, considering one of the most famous characteristics of Coe was his perfect stride and running form, but hopefully with a little “movie magic” this will not end up being a problem.