Daniel Radcliffe to play Sebastian Coe in film about famous athletics rivalry

Titled 'Gold', the film will follow Coe's track rivalry with fellow long-distance runner Steve Ovett

Daniel Radcliffe is to star as Sebastian Coe in a forthcoming film about the athlete-turned-Olympics chief’s famous rivalry with fellow long-distance runner Steve Ovett.

Titled Gold, the film has a script by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty) and Will Davies (How To Train Your Dragon) based on Pat Butcher’s acclaimed book about the Coe-Ovett rivalry, The Perfect Distance. Butcher will serve as a consultant on the project.

The film will track the pair’s ups and downs in the years leading up to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, at which each of them won a gold medal. The role of Ovett has yet to be cast.

Embankment Films, the makers of the upcoming movie, released the following synopsis: “Sebastian Coe (Daniel Radcliffe), obsessive and nurtured, is a quiet loner driven to the limit of endeavour by his ambitious father. Steve Ovett, effortless and natural, is a confident joker and outsider, fighting to prove himself in an elitist world. Both are fuelled by rivalry but burdened by the weight of expectation and fear of failure. Lovers, family loyalties and the human spirit are tested to breaking point in a relentless race for glory. Inspired by a crescendo of real-life events – a movie about winning, losing and the pursuit of immortality.”

James Watkins is on board as director and shooting is due to start next April (2014) in the UK and Russia. Watkins and Radcliffe previously worked together on last year’s surprise horror hit The Woman In Black.