Gerard Butler’s long-held passion project Afterburn is finally moving ahead. While Butler made an impression in the early stages of his career with supporting turns in the likes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle Of Life, it wasn’t until 300 that he became a star in his own right. Leonidas became an instantly iconic character, and Butler would spend the next few years jumping from action films to romantic comedies.
The last few years of Butler’s career have been a mixed bag. He scored big with Olympus Has Fallen and its sequel, which provided him with a reliable franchise to drop back on, but other high-profile projects like Gods Of Egypt and Geostorm have been critical and commercial failures. His fortunes are looking up thanks to his recent thriller Den Of Thieves, where he played a veteran cop on the trail of a gang of organized thieves; a sequel to the film has already been greenlit.
It appears the success of Den Of Thieves has also given Butler some clout, as Deadline reports his passion project Afterburn is finally getting made. Afterburn is based on the graphic novel of the same name, which is set in the aftermath of a massive solar flare that destroys the Eastern Hemisphere, turning it into a wasteland filled with mutant creatures. The comics follow a team of treasure hunters who brave the wasteland to retrieve various valuable items.
Butler will play the team leader, and the story finds him taking his team to Paris to nab the Mona Lisa. If Afterburn is a hit, other adventures could find the team hunting for the Star Of India or the Crown Jewels. Butler has been attached to Afterburn since at least 2010 when Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) was lined up as director; the project is now being helmed by Jung Byung-gil, who was behind the acclaimed 2017 South Korean action film The Villainess.
With Afterburn, Butler seems to be actively targeting franchises for himself, and the concept lends itself easily to numerous adventures. Butler is also due to return one last time as Mike Banning in Angel Has Fallen, a sequel he’s pitched as the Logan of the franchise, and one that will be darker and more contained than previous installments.
There’s currently no set release date for Afterburn, but we’ll keep you updated as more information arrives.