Film recounts rivalry of Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett

BBC Films is developing a feature pic about the rivalry of long-distance runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett.

Pic is due to be released prior to the 2012 London Olympics. Joanna Anderson and Vicky Licorish of AL Films, the producers of BBC1’s recent hit “Small Island,” have signed U.S.-based British writer William Davies (“Flushed Away”) to script.

Project will be based on sports journo Pat Butcher’s book “The Perfect Distance.”

Ovett and Coe’s rivalry became the stuff of legend during the ’80s, with Ovett’s working-class background in contrast to Coe’s more affluent origins. Their story reached a dramatic crescendo in the 1984 Olympics, with each vying to defeat the other in their favorite events.

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