Gerard Butler to Destroy Robots With His Mind in 'The Raven'

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Who needs "300"-style Spartan abs when you can just blow robots up with your telekinetic powers?

That's a question you'll have to ask Gerard Butler, since according to Deadline he and his abs are in negotiations to replace Liam Hemsworth as the lead in Universal's feature version of sci-fi short "The Raven." No relation to that bird crap John Cusack movie of the same name, or the Lou Reed album either.

And, no, it's not the same movie as "The Crow," either. Nice try.

Ricardo de Montreuil's 6-minute futuristic conspiracy thriller exploded the internet in 2010, looking like a legit summer blockbuster right out of the gate with its combo of well-integrated CGI, tight action and lens flares galore. The calling card announced in de Montreuil a perfect blend of Neill Blomkamp meets Michael Bay, even though its plot of dystopian government types using machines to hunt down a super-powered fugitive was nothing we hadn't seen before. "Minority Report"? "The Island"? "THX-1138"? Anyone? Bueller?

Gerard Butler is perhaps the most "treading water" movie star there is, taking on middle-of-the-road fare like "The Bounty Hunter" and "Olympus Has Fallen" which don't really exploit the potential we saw in "300." Considering that, "The Raven" seems to fit right into his wheelhouse, i.e. high concept, derivative, action-oriented. The age-shift from young bucks like Hemsworth and original lead Victor Lopez to 43-year-old Butler as a telepath-on-the-run will no doubt require a script polish, and perhaps more personal oxygen bars on set.

As for Hemsworth abandoning the project, seems his allegiance is to another bird, the mockingjay, and may the odds be ever in his favor. He'll have his hands full with "Hunger Games" sequels and the occasional street brawl.

Movie & TV Awards 2018