Daniel Radcliffe as Olympian runner Sebastian Coe

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

D. Radcliffe
Has he started running laps around the local track to prepare for the role?

Daniel Radcliffe is putting down the wand and lacing up those running shoes in the upcoming movie Gold. The sports history flick focuses on the 1970s rivalry between Olympic runners Sebastian Coe (who will be played by Radcliffe) and Steve Ovett, and is based on Pat Butcher’s book, The Perfect Distance. Penning the screenplay are veterans Simon Beaufoy from Slumdog Millionaire and Will Davies from How To Train Your Dragon, so it’s definitely in good hands.

The book summary captures the real life spirit of the rivalry quite well, stating: “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 twelve middle-distance records. As far apart as possible in terms of class and upbringing, 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.”

The film will begin production next spring, and continues Radcliffe’s efforts to move away from the boy wizard image into more serious acting roles.

Featured image courtesy of Andy Mitchell on Wikimedia. Image of Daniel Radcliffe courtesy of Joella Marano on Wikipedia.