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Gerry Butler tries to get back on his Gamer (Blog)

Category: Gamer News
Article Date: September 1, 2009 | Publication: Risky Biz Blog - The Hollywood Reporter | Author: Steven Zeitchik
Source: Risky Biz Blog - The Hollywood Reporter

Posted by: admin

Ubiquitous sports commercials aside, there are four things that will sell the upcoming "Gamer," and they all start with Gerry and end with Butler.

The actor who catapulted to fame as an action star in "300" has been toiling in Nora Ephron territory recently, with "P.S., I Love You" and "The Ugly Truth" among his more recent efforts (and yes, "RocknRolla," for the three people who saw it). But Lionsgate and Lakeshore -- not to mention fans of non-cliched filmmaking-- hope the syrupy taste washes out with the release of Butler's futuro-actioner "Gamer this weekend. (The companies also, incidentally, are hoping for a comeback from writer-directors Neveldine and Taylor, whose "Crank: High Voltage" struggled when Lionsgate released it earlier this year.)

The interesting subplot here is whether Butler can make the transition back to where he started, something he'll try not only with this pic but Overture's upcoming vigilante thriller "Law Abiding Citizen" (Well, actually the really interesting subplot is whether the movie's premise -- a world in which people are controlled as though in a multiplayer video game -- can catch on given the checkered record of video-game-themed movies, but that's another post.) It's not easy to go from action hero to romantic leading man and back again; about the only guy in the modern era who's pulled it off with regularity is Tom Cruise. More often than not, the transition looks like Harrison Ford's, or worse, Nicolas Cage's.

But Lionsgate-Lakeshore actually took an interesting gamble with this pic that played off his growing rom-com profile. According to insiders, "Gamer" could have come out before "Truth" -- the movie was ready and there were discussions about releasing it in the spring. But the companies made a calculated decision to wait until September, after "Truth" had helped Butler solidify himself as a household name (even if it the people in those households who knew him from the rom-com wouldn't exactly be the same people whowould turn out to see "Gamer").

With this release date, the movie is also getting a relatively open Labor Day weekend and an extra twenty-fours of holiday time. Whether people want to spend that holiday seeing Katherine Heigl's amour fou putting the hurt back on the bad guys is another question..


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