Film recap: Butler signs up to be a preacher, Murray a gangster, Willis a spy

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The Independent Culture

Announcements were made about upcoming films starring Gerard Butler, Bill Murray and Bruce Willis the week of January 19.

Scotsman Gerard Butler ( Law Abiding Citizen) teams up with director Marc Forster ( Monster's Ball) to star in Machine Gun Preacher. It's based on a true story about Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker who became a crusader for kidnapped Sudanese children. The script will be adopted from his memoir, Another Man‘s War: The True Story of One Man‘s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan.

Bill Murray will star in Passion Play, a romantic thriller to be directed by Mitch Glazer ( Scrooged screenwriter) in his directorial debut. The cast features Megan Fox ( Transformers) and Mickey Rourke ( The Wrestler). The period story tells the tale of a down-on-his-luck jazz trumpet player, an angel in a carnival, and the gangster determined to keep them apart. Murray, heard in Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox, plays the villain named Happy.

Bruce Willis is currently shooting the Robert Schwentke spy story, Red, based on a graphic novel by Warren Ellis. The story follows a former CIA agent living in seclusion until hunted down by a high-tech assassin. The heavy-duty cast includes Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, as well as Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfus, and Ernest Borgnine. The script is written by brothers Jon and Erich Hoeber ( Whiteout). Filming locations include Toronto and New Orleans. The film is scheduled for release, October 22.