Gerard Butler surfaces in ‘Hunter Killer’

Thesp in talks to star in Antoine Fuqua's sub drama; Worthington eyed for a role

With Gerard Butler earning strong reviews for his dramatic turn in Relativity Media’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” the Scottish actor has reteamed with the studio that supported his passion project, as he’s in negotiations to star in Antoine Fuqua’s “Hunter Killer.”

Based on the novel “Firing Point” by George Wallace and Don Keith, story follows an untested submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL team to rescue Russia’s president, who’s taken prisoner during a military coup. The two sides team to stop a rogue Russian general from igniting WWIII.

Butler is in talks to play Capt. Joe Glass, the commander of the USS Toledo, while “Avatar” star Sam Worthington is being eyed for the role of Bill Beaman, the leader of a special Navy SEAL unit called the Dev Group.

Original Film’s Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe are producing with Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. Relativity’s recently promoted co-prexy Tucker Tooley will exec produce the pic, adapted by Jamie Moss, John Kolvenbach and Arne Schmidt. Studio is currently targeting a winter start date.

Hunter Killer” is skedded to open Dec. 21, 2012, the day Disney would have opened “Lone Ranger” before it was pushed to May 31, 2013. Pic’s current box office competition includes Paramount’s Brad Pitt starrer “World War Z,” Fox 2000’s “Life of Pi” and Universal’s untitled Judd Apatow comedy.

Butler next stars in Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus” and Relativity’s untitled omnibus comedy from producers Peter Farrelly and Charles B. Wessler. Thesp recently wrapped Gabriele Muccino’s soccer comedy “Playing the Field” and will soon begin filming Curtis Hanson’s surfing pic “Of Men and Mavericks.”

Butler is repped by Alan Siegel Entertainment and CAA, which also reps Worthington and Fuqua.

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