Relativity has released our first look at Gerard Butler in Marc Foster’s next, “Machine Gun Preacher”.
Machine Gun Preacher is based on the true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who finds faith leading him on a path to East Africa. Shocked by the mayhem in Sudan, Childers becomes a crusader for hundreds of refugee children. Inspired to create a safe haven for the multitudes fleeing enslavement by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army, he restores peace to their lives and eventually his own.
“Sam is a guy of our times,” Butler says of the Pennsylvania-based crusader who founded an orphanage in Africa as a haven for the abused would-be recruits of the Lord’s Resistance Army. “There is more complexity in a modern-day character who’s a drug addict and a biker turned businessman, missionary and soldier. You don’t get roles like this very often.”
Director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) was eager to present an imperfect hero on-screen. And he felt Butler was the perfect choice. “He’s one of those movie stars today that I feel is a real man. There are very few around. He has this incredible rawness.”
As effective as Childers is as a savior, his use of violent means has made him controversial, and Butler says that can make him seem like a self-appointed vigilante.
Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker, and Michael Shannon also star in the film. It hits theaters in limited release September 23, 2011.