Walden Media pic directed by Curtis Hanson

Walden Media’s tapped Gerard Butler (“300″) to portray Rick “Frosty” Hesson in its upcoming surf pic “Mavericks,” to be directed by Curtis Hanson.

Shooting’s expected to begin in October. Hanson, Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan are producing.

Story centers on the late Jay Moriarity and his quest to ride the iconic Northern California break known as Mavericks, where winter swells bring in treacherous waves the size of five-story buildings. Moriarity trained for more than a year under Hesson, forging a relationship that transformed both their lives.

Moriarity’s story remains an inspiration to surfers around the globe, who’ve coined the phrase, “Live like Jay.”

Moriarty died in 2001 in a diving accident in the Maldive Islands.

Hanson (“L.A. Confidential,” “8 Mile”‘) will direct from a screenplay by Kario Salem and Hooper. Butler is executive producing along with his manager Alan Siegel.

Michael Bostick and Amanda Morgan Palmer are overseeing for Walden. Lakeshore Entertainment will handle international sales.

Butler is repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Management.

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