Daniel Radcliffe to play Sebastian Coe in sporting biopic

Daniel Radcliffe to play Sebastian Coe in sporting biopic

The film, currently entitled Gold, will cover Coe's rivalry with Steve Ovett in the 1970s and 80s

Daniel Radcliffe has been announced for the lead role in Sebastian Coe biopic Gold. The film will cover Olympian track and field star Coe's rivalry with fellow athlete Steve Ovett in the run up to the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Gold will be directed by James Watkins, with whom Radcliffe previously worked on The Woman in Black. The screenplay comes courtesy of Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Will Davies (How to Train Your Dragon, Puss in Boots), adapted from the book The Perfect Distance by Pat Butcher (not that one). Here's the blurb from Butcher's book:

'Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe presided over the golden era of British athletics. Between them they won three Olympic gold medals, two silvers, one bronze and broke a total of 12 middle-distance records. They were part of the landscape of the late seventies and early eighties – both household names, their exploits were watched by millions. As far apart as possible in terms of class and upbringing – Ovett is the art student, the long-haired son of a market-trader from Brighton, a natural athlete; Coe's formative years were spent under the rigorous training routine of Peter Coe, a self-taught trainer who referred to his son as "my athlete" – their rivalry burned as intense on the track as away from it. The pendulum swung between the pair of them – each breaking the other's records, and, memorably, triumphing in each other's events in Moscow in 1980 – for the best part of a decade, until the final showdown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984...'

Gold is due to shoot in the UK and Russia in April 2014. We imagine the finished film will land in winter 2014, where it'll be able to compete in another championship – the race for the Oscars.

Originally reported in Screen Daily.