Motor City, the crime thriller that will mark director Albert Hughes's next project now that his Akira remake is dead, has endured a lot of false starts since we first heard about it last summer. What seems like dozens of actors have flitted in and out of the leading role, a crook recently released from jail who set out to get revenge against the people who put him there. Jeremy Renner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dominic Cooper, and Chris Evans have all been rumored for the role, but none have actually signed on--until now.

Variety reports that Gerard Butler is now in negotiations with Warner Bros. and Dark Castle to lead the film. Gary Oldman and Amber Heard are on board as the villain and presumable love interest, respectively, and Hughes is still attached to direct, even after all this back and forth. Butler, who recently ended the world's least-publicized rehab stint, has been busy picking up new roles; he's replaced Eric Bana in the diamond heist thriller Brilliant, and even more intriguingly, he'll play a John McClane-esque hero in Olympus Has Fallen, which is widely described as "Die Hard at the White House."

How will Motor City fit into this busy schedule? Given that both Gyllenhaal and Cooper fell out of the project because of scheduling issues, presumably they've got things worked out with Butler now that they're making him an offer. Butler made a reasonable stab at being a hefty dramatic actor last fall, between Machine Gun Preacher and Coriolanus, and these upcoming roles seem to combine that with his well-known physical brawn. He seems pretty well-suited to all of him, and here's hoping they're equally as well-matched to his talent.

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