PLAYING THE 'GAME'

Category: The Game of Their Lives News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 13, 2003 | Publication: Daily Variety | Author: Dave McNary
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Crusader Entertainment has tapped Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley to topline soccer drama "The Game of Their Lives."

"Game," based on the book by Geoffrey Douglas, is the story of the U.S. team that stunned the powerhouse English side in the 1950 World Cup by a 1-0 score.

The Americans --- listed as a 500-to-1 shot by one bookmaker --- were a quickly assembled band of amateur and semi-pro players, mostly first-generation Americans and immigrants. Bentley will portray Walter Bahr, who devised the strategy to defeat the Brits, and Butler will play Frank Borghi, the goalie who led the team both on and off the field.

"Game" reunites director David Anspaugh and writer-producer Angelo Pizzo, who teamed on sports sagas "Hoosiers" and "Rudy."

"I have such respect for the dramatic talents of Wes and Gerard," Anspaugh said. "Both Angelo and I are so impressed with how they have responded to the material and by their enthusiasm to immediately start training."

Pic will be produced by Crusader's Howard and Karen Baldwin, Ginger T. Perkins and Nick Morton, with William J. Immerman serving as exec producer. Other producers include Greg Johnson, Peter Newman and Ira Deutchman, from whom book rights were acquired.

Bentley broke out in "American Beauty" and has since appeared in "Beloved," "The Claim" and "Four Feathers." Butler recently wrapped on "Tomb Raider 2"; his other credits include "Timeline," "Mrs. Brown," "Wes Craven's Dracula 2000" and "Reign of Fire."

Both are repped by CAA. Bentley is managed by Lee Daniels, Butler by Alan Siegel.

Crusader, which has a first-look deal at Par, recently tapped Peter Kosminsky ("White Oleander") to direct WWII drama "Giants," a co-production with Arnold Entertainment.

Copyright 2003 Reed Elsevier Inc.