Flix News of the Week: Ridley Scott possibly teaming up w/ Gerry Butler for an African thriller

Ok yes I know, given how prolific Ridley Scott is (just check out this long list even from a year ago), who knows when we’ll see this project off the ground. But one can hope, right? I love Ridley’s work and you know how I feel about Butler, and so I’ve been hoping one day these two would work together! In fact, in my first Fantasy Movie Pitch I did called Hearts Want, I had both of them teaming up in romance thriller set in London.

So anyway, here’s the gist per Deadline: Sir Scott is reportedly attached to direct and produce this African thriller through his Scott Free banner, with Gerard Butler to star as the protagonist Simon Man, and Robert Edwards (The Bomb In My Garden) to write the script.

What’s the story about?

Simon Mann is a former British army officer who in 2004 put together a band of mercenaries to attempt a coup against the president of Equatorial Guinea. The coup attempt was thwarted in Zimbabwe, where Mann went to pick up weapons. He spent five years in a harsh prison there before being taken to Equatorial Guinea where he was sentenced to 34 years–but spared that sentence when he received a presidential pardon in 2009. His backers –Mann said one was Mark Thatcher, son of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—disavowed involvement with Mann after the coup failed. Both Mann and his wife Amanda have been making the rounds at studios the past several days along with Edwards, and insiders say there are high hopes this will end in a deal.

Well, it’s not exactly a romance thriller I was hoping for (seriously Hollywood, we need more of that genre!!), and after Machine Gun Preacher and Coriolanus, I’m kind of hoping he’d do a drama without weapons involved for a change. But still I’m excited for this. The real-life story is intriguing and I know Butler is perfect for such a role.

For sure I’d rather see him do this than Thunder Run, yet another action thriller starring Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey that Castor talked about last month on his blog. It’s to be made with motion-capture 3D, bla, bla, bla… I’m just not crazy about that one. Well, I hope this African thriller will materialize, I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear more about this. Oh and I’ll also be posting about Butler’s upcoming soccer comedy Playing the Field this weekend. Stay tuned!


Well, what do you think of this casting news, folks? Let’s hear it!

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23 thoughts on “Flix News of the Week: Ridley Scott possibly teaming up w/ Gerry Butler for an African thriller

  1. I’m so game for this…it just sadly doesn’t look like it’ll be happening anytime soon. My guts tells me it’ll be 2013/14 if we’re lucky. Body of Lies was awesome and this’ll be in the same vein so bring on the Scott/GB collaboration! Interest considerable peaked:)

    1. Yeah I think 2013 at the earliest. Bummer!! These two are so busy, Butler’s got like 3 movies in the can and probably filming 2 more. No complaints from me, more Butler in the movies = awesomeness 😀

  2. I rather like this. Gerry working with a respected director ought to bring good things his way. He already gets a little bit of the Russell Crowe comparison here and there, and I don’t love that, but I guess there are worse people on both sides of the equation, so I’ll live with it. 🙂

    1. I think the comparison started when he did 300, and both are rugged, gritty men. They’re pals now I think, Butler mentioned that Russell got him smoking again for a little bit when they met at a charity event. Oh man, what I’d give to be amongst those two [swoon…]

  3. i am a fool for Ridley Scott’s work so I’ll be there. Agree that working with Scott should help Butler. I’ve seen that he gets compared to Crowe and I agree there’s worse people to be compared to, but they seem so different to me that it’s never made much sense 🙂

    1. They are physically quite different, I mean Butler is like 4 inches taller. But I think it’s their grit and masculinity that people are comparing ’em for, which I agree. Both have husky voice as well. I’d soooo love to see both of them in a movie together… with Ridley Scott directing too! A girl can dream 🙂

  4. PrairieGirl

    Wow, another movie for GB! He’ll be perfect for the role, and I like that it’s based on a true story. But I totally agree with you… Where’s the BEEF? Oh, excuse me, I mean, where’s the ROMANTIC THRILLER?

    1. I know!! Romantic thrillers just don’t get made very often for some reason. Ah well, I suppose there should be lots of romance going on in Playing the Field (post on that coming soon)… GB looks so fiiiine in the pic I saw 😉

  5. Ted S.

    Can’t say that I’m excited about this project, it probably won’t happen for a while since Scott will be prepping his Blade Runner reboot/sequel or whatever after he’s done with the Alien prequel. Would be nice for Butler to work with a well respected director like Scott though.

    1. I’d rather he leave Blade Runner well enough alone. Who knows he might reshuffle his schedule if this one appeals to him. Well Butler is now working with Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) so yeah, hopefully Scott then Nolan next 😀

  6. Let’s see if a studio picks this up. Funny how I was talking about Butler teaming up with a good director for once a few days ago in your GB birthday post and now this news comes out 🙂

    1. If you will it bad enough it’ll happen I guess eh Cas? I think both Scott and Butler have enough clout in the biz to make it happen, it’s just a matter of freeing up their nutty schedules.

  7. I’m on board 100% for this. Not sure if that was obvious before I said it, but…there you have it. Scott + Butler = Here, sir, have my $10. The plot sounds pretty damn awesome. As expected.

  8. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Great scoop!

    The teaming up of Ridley Scott and Gerard Butler sounds very rock star!

    The Brits have always been much more flexible about using mercenaries to maintain their grasp on power and Empire than the US would ever think of.

    Big fan of the exploits of Col. ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare and his 5 Commando in Africa during the early 1960s. The man was an absolute genius at take overs, coups and raiding the locals’ coffers with minimum to no bloodshed.

    Haven’t seen a decent film on the crucible that is African politics since John Irvin’s flawless translation of Frederick Forsyth’s ‘The Dogs of War’ in 1980. So I have my fingers crossed big time!

    1. Glad you think so, Jack. Butler would make for a convincing British army officer, and w/ Mr. Scott at the helm hopefully the distribution will be handled much better than Machine Gun Preacher.

      Castor, I haven’t seen Last King of Scotland but my hubby did and was really impressed by it. No doubt as McAvoy is another talented Scot I love.

  9. I usually skip war related films as I find them hard to watch and lose my attention span faster than Brideshead Revisited. His upcoming film Movie 43 sounds better than any of the other films other the the voiceover for the dragon film. There have been too many of them in the past 10 or more years I lose interest. Unless it is 1940-50’s maybe it might pique my interest. That being said I did like Minette Walters book THE CHAMELEON’S SHADOW perhaps they should have done that instead.
    http://www.minettewalters.co.uk/books/index.htm

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