Gerard Butler always talks a good game, but the 300 star sounds truly jazzed about his upcoming sci-fi action movie Gamer, in which humans manipulate other humans in mass-scale, multiplayer online games. The film won't be released until Sept. 4, but Butler just screened it, and he swears it's super-cool, with amped-up action and violence in keeping with its R rating.
"It's what you'd expect if you lived in that world," Butler said in an exclusive telephone interview a few weeks ago while promoting his latest film, The Ugly Truth. "It doesn't stop. It really doesn't let up for a second, even in terms of the drama. I saw it for myself a few weeks ago, and I was blown away. I was so happy with how it turned out."
Butler said the film also delivers on other fronts. "It's a riot," he said. "It's very funny as well. That's what's cool about it. It has the ability to send itself up and not take itself too seriously. But at the same time it gives us a poignant message about the dangers of where entertainment and technology can take us."
Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the guys behind the Crank films, Gamer stars Butler as Kable, a guy imprisoned within a first-person shooter game called "Slayers." Kable is the game's stud, controlled by a kid who routinely leads Kable to victory. But Kable wants out, and he also wants revenge against the elusive and reclusive creator of "Slayers," Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). Other co-stars include such familiar genre names as Amber Valletta, John Leguizamo, Milo Ventimiglia and Alison Lohman.
"Kable is actually in a prison, where they've instituted this new game, where pretty much nobody survives," Butler said. "And within the parameters of the game we are controlled by the gamers. This is watched globally. So I'm trapped in that and, meanwhile, trying to make my way through the game without being killed and, at the same time, down the system so that I can get back to the family I have. Gamer is a wild trip. I don't think people will have seen anything much like this before."