Daniel Radcliffe, otherwise known as Harry Potter, has signed on to star in Gold, a film about the rivalry between track and field stars Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett leading up to the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Radcliffe will play Coe, the British athlete, turned politician, who is known as Lord Coe. For the project, he will be reunited with his The Woman In Black director James Watkins.
When the announcement of Radcliffe’s casting was made, the role of Steve Ovett was still up for grabs.
Coe and Ovett’s rivalry was legendary, and came to a head during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when they famously ran against each other.
Lord Coe won gold in the 1,500 meters event and Ovett picked up gold in the 800 meters.
BBC Films, the British Film Institute, and AL Films are developing the project, which is based on Pat Butcher’s book, The Perfect Distance.
Gold is written by Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy of Slumdog Millionaire fame and Will Davies (How To Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots).
‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe to play British Olympic runner Seb Coe. pic.twitter.com/lAhcXK5KmC
— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) October 30, 2013
“I hadn’t realized how good it was until you dig into their past,” Beaufoy told the BBC earlier this year. “They were fantastically different athletes and different people. And they rarely met (…) apart from on the track – but not very often, even on the track.”
BBC’s executive producer Christine Langan says, “Compelling, funny and moving, Gold is a gem of a story.”
Daniel Radcliffe was rumored to be in the run to play another British legend, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, but he denies that he is involved in that project.