Gerard Butler Replacing Eric Bana In Diamond Heist Thriller Brilliant

Gerard Butler has been tapped by his Ugly Truth director Robert Luketic to headline Brilliant, a diamond heist thriller that casts Mr. 300 as a small-time crook who must partner with a female criminal to pull off a major diamond heist.

Variety, which reports the casting, mentions that Butler will be replacing Star Trek and Hulk star Eric Bana, who had been attached to the project as recently as September 2011, but now appears ready to play opposite Rebecca Hall (The Town) in John Crowley’s untitled thriller.

And while we pay very little attention to tabloid coverage, it’s common knowledge that Butler spent time recently in rehabilitation, so it’s encouraging that his professional life hasn’t slipped out of gear, and that he’s picking up a project with a director he can trust. Now, here’s what terrifies me: Variety adds that Brilliant producers still need to hire a female lead before production starts this May in Boston. Please don’t let it be Katherine Heigl, setting up the Ugly Truth reunion that nobody’s asking for. It is possible given the fact that when she isn’t making rom-coms, Heigl often leans toward crime-thrillers like Killers or One for the Money.

If Butler hadn’t come clean about his rehab stint, we might not have noticed his absence. He has a number of projects in the pipeline, including the submarine thriller Hunter Killer and the FBI thriller The Bricklayer. He’ll also lend his voice to the How to Train Your Dragon sequel, which is expected to hit theaters in 2014. But before then, he might be boosting diamonds for Luketic, so stay tuned.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.