Gerard Butler to don the role of “Machine Gun Preacher”
Hollywood action superstar Gerard Butler, whose recent high-octane roles include King Leonidas in “300” (2006) and Clyde Shelton in “Law Abiding Citizen” (2009), will soon be playing the role of real-life AK-47-toting Pastor Sam Childers in 2012’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” according to the Internet Movie Database.
A former bike gang member and drug dealer, Childers underwent a massive spiritual transformation in 1992, during a revival at an Assembly of God church and his pastor prophesied that Sam would one day travel to Africa.
Six years later, near the close of 1998, Childers boarded a plane for the Sudan.
It would be the first of several trips he would make to the war-torn region where the Ugandan sectarian militant group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Koney, had abducted and tortured an estimated 30,000 children and displaced 1.6 million people since the start of the rebellion in 1986.
The LRA claims they act under the principles and morals found in the Christian Bible and the Ten Commandments.
Childers made it his life’s mission to defend and protect the innocent children of the Sudan region by any means necessary.
For the past 12 years, the so-called “unconventional American pastor” has lived and operated in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda. His Angels of East African Children’s village has become a safe haven for rescued children.
“Machine Gun Preacher” is currently in its preproduction phase and will begin shooting in Pennsylvania in early July, according to Variety Magazine.
Under the directorship of Golden Globe nominee Marc Foster, whose 2008 “Quantum of Solace” follow-up to the 2006 James Bond remake “Casino Royale” cemented him as a Hollywood action-film giant, “Machine Gun Preacher” will co-star Michelle Monoghan of “Mission Impossible 3” (2006) and “Eagle Eye” (2008) fame as Childers’ wife Lyn.
The Christian Post recently interviewed Childers about his use of heavy firearms.
“I don’t condone violence at all,” he responded. “I don’t believe in violence but at the same time I don’t believe that children should be raped, murdered or cut up.”
He also added, “I look at it as self-defense and I look at it as I’m helping God’s children. I’m not a person out to murder. It’s not that I like hurting anybody. But at the same time these people [the LRA] need to be stopped.”
Childers’ book Another Man’s War: the True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan and his official web site http://machinegunpreacher.org/ recall “the gruesome scenes after LRA raids that included the smelling of burning flesh and saving a woman drenched in her own blood from a breast that was half cut off by a machete,” according to The Christian Post.
Childers also recounted the LRA’s forcing of their victim’s to engage in cannibalism and children to murder their own mothers.
The biopic film’s release dates have undergone several changes and reschedulings since entering preproduction and is now slated for release sometime in 2012 with Lionsgate Entertainment and in association with 1984 Films.
You can find out more about Childers and his Angels of East Africa organization at his website www.machinegunpreacher.org.