Gerard Butler plays the Game

Now that he’s well and truly established himself as a star with his Persian-battling turn in 300, it’s not surprising that Gerard Butler is fielding offers thick and fast.

And he’s just signed on to the latest project from the warped brains that were last seen making Jason Statham into an adrenaline-pumped fighting machine in Crank.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have cooked up the high-concept thriller Game, which is set in a dystopian near future. Mind-control technology has taken the world by storm, with players entering the ultimate arena in online entertainment, taking charge of other peoples’ brains for a massive contest.

Butler is playing Kable, the top ranked warrior in the biggest game of the lot, Slayers, who has to battle to reclaim his real identity and take down the people who imprisoned him in the virtual hell. Naturally, he’ll do that by kicking plenty of arse and taking a few names in the process. Anyone think someone’s been watching The Running Man a few times? Yeah, us too.

"Mark and Brian's visionary story is a forewarning to us all," Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg told The Hollywood Reporter. "The Internet has given us global interconnectivity, yet it has also has made us more isolated, voyeuristic and predatory. We have to ask ourselves if we are losing humanity along the way." With Lakeshore ponying up the dosh, the co-writers and directors will start filming in January.