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'Harry Potter' actor Daniel Radcliffe to play Sebastian Coe in film

October 31, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Daniel Radcliffe will get out his running shoes for a new film.
Daniel Radcliffe will get out his running shoes for a new film. (Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty…)

Daniel Radcliffe, the young actor who rose to movie fame as Harry Potter, is set to dump his flying broomstick for a more conventional mode of transport, playing runner Sebastian Coe in a British film about Coe's fierce rivalry with Steve Ovett.

"Gold" will follow the athletes through boyhood as they dueled in the 800- and 1,500-meter races as juniors and then became world-class competitors. At the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Ovett won the 800 and Coe took the longer race.

An Embankment Films executive described "Gold" as "a movie about an insatiable need to win, fueled by intense ambition, only possible through the support of loving family."

Coe eventually became a member of Parliament and a key executive for the 2012 London Olympics. Ovett, beset by respiratory ailments, retired to Australia.

Their story is based on a book, "The Perfect Distance," by journalist Pat Butcher and has some big names behind the script -- Oscar-winning Simon Beaufoy of "Slumdog Millionaire" and Will Davies of "How to Train Your Dragon."

According to BBC Films, the project will begin shooting in the UK and Russia in spring.


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