Gerard planning to cash in as a movie producer

Category: Law Abiding Citizen News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: February 21, 2009 | Publication: The Express | Author: GAVIN DOCHERTY
Publication/Article Link:The Express

GERARD Butler is banking on his latest movie winning, or losing, him a fortune.

The actor has got together with a group of investor pals - Lucas Foster, Mark Gill, and Alan Siegel - and sunk more than a staggering GBP 50million into Law Abiding Citizen, in which he co-stars with Oscar winner Jamie Foxx.

Glasgow-born Butler has foregone his usual up-front fee for a nominal payment while the film continues shooting in Philadelphia.

The wily actor is betting on the film being a box office success at which point he'll cash in.

It marks his first film as a producer, a role he was convinced to assume after watching the box office takings go through the roof for his last major action movie, 300, set in the Persian war of 480 BC.

That flick also cost GBP 50million to make and grossed five times as much for Warner Bros pictures.

Understandably, the 39-year-old hunk now wants a slice of the action, and set up his own production company, Evil twins, in order to bring that bumper payday dream closer to reality.

According to figures issued by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Butler's company has a GBP 6million stake in the production, currently burning up money at a daily rate of GBP 700,000 because of the expensive location shoots and special effects.

In ball park figures, even if the film is a modest hit, his company's return, after DVD rentals, could be as much as GBP 12million which should boost Butler's personal bank balance for that rainy day.

Wearing both star and producer hats hasn't been without its problems though.

The film's original director Frank Darabont, of Shawshank Redemption fame, walked for reasons unknown, to be replaced by F Gary Gray, who directed The Italian Job.

And while the story still focuses on a vigilante hounding a city and its assistant DA, the roles have now switched. Foxx is now playing the assistant D.A. , and Butler the vigilante, with the changes said to better suit each actor's profile.

Before filming began Butler explained his motives thus: "Film finance has changed dramatically and independent producers-actors now have the means to finance a film itself."

Law Abiding Citizen is expected to be released in 2010 - at which point Butler can decide on whether or not to buy that luxury super-yacht.