Daniel Radcliffe, best known for playing the title character in the Harry Potter series, is to be cast as Sebastian Coe in the forthcoming running biopic, Gold. The film centres on the rivalry between Coe and fellow Steve Ovett in the years leading up to the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Gold, set to be filmed in both the UK and Russia in 2014, will see Potter reunite with British director James Watkins - the pair worked together in last year's supernatural box office hit The Woman in Black. The role of Ovett is yet to be cast.
Writer Simon Beaufoy, a 2009 Oscar winner for Slumdog Millionaire, commented: "I hadn't realised how good it was until you dig into their past. 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."
Gold will be based on The Perfect Distance, an account of the Coe-Ovett rivalry written by the journalist, Pat Butcher. Leading up to the 1980 Olympics, the pair were favourites in their respective distances (Coe 800m and Ovett 1500), yet Ovett famously took victory in the 800m, with Coe triumphing over the longer distance.
BBC Films' Christine Langan, who will also be an executive producer for Gold, expects the film to have widespread appeal: "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."