Daniel Radcliffe will play double gold medallist Sebastian Coe in a sporting biopic detailing the British middle distance runner's battles with rival Steve Ovett, reports Screen Daily.
The Harry Potter star will reunite with James Watkins, director of last year's supernatural box office hit The Woman in Black, on Gold. Producers have not yet cast Ovett, who was Coe's main British rival in the years leading up to the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Slumdog Millionaire's Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy has written the screenplay with How to Train Your Dragon's Will Davies.
Coe and Ovett were fierce rivals from their junior days, but rarely raced each other at the pinnacle of their respective careers. Prior to the Moscow Olympics they were recognised as two of the fastest middle distance runners in the world, with Coe favouring the 800m and Ovett the 1500m. Yet on the day, it was Ovett who took gold in the shorter distance, while Coe triumphed over the longer race. Four years later in Los Angeles, Coe took silver in the 800m and retained his 1,500m gold. Ovett, crippled by respiratory problems, was unable to offer serious competition.
Coe went on to be a Conservative MP, and oversaw last year's hugely successful London Olympics. The former world record holder at 800m and 1500m was made a life peer in 2000. Ovett retired from athletics in 1991 and now live in Australia.
Gold, which has been developed by BBC Films, the BFI and AL Films, is due to shoot in the UK and Russia in April next year. Christine Langan of BBC Films told Screen Daily: "Compelling, funny and moving, Gold is a gem of a story and BBC Films is proud to be participating in bringing it to an international audience."
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• Daniel Radcliffe: nude no moreThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 30th October 2013 11.35 Europe/London
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