Troubled ex-soccer player Paul Gascoigne is attached to star in Final Run, a $2.5 million budgeted horror actioner being set up by London-based production company SjB Imperial Film, according to Variety. Gascoigne’s glittering soccer career included stints at Tottenham and Lazio and 57 appearances for England but he has struggled of late with addiction problems and obsessive compulsive disorder. Read on for the story.
SjB topper Stephen James Bland helms the pic in which Gascoigne — or Gazza as he is affectionately known by the Brit public — will play a survivor of an alien invasion.
Bland describes the project “as something akin to ‘Aliens’ meets ‘Black Hawk Down’,” stressing that it is “character-driven and no mindless shoot-’em-up.”
According to Bland, Gascoigne was drawn to the project by his love for vintage British sci-fi films such as “The Day of the Triffids” (1962).
The pic, which is skedded to shoot in the U.K. this summer, will also star Lois Winstone, the daughter of Brit thesp Ray Winstone.
Gascoigne will also co-produce the pic alongside Lionel Hicks, Jordan Kotras and Bland. Published poet Philippa Juul has penned the script.
Famous soccer players’ previous run outs as movie stars have yielded distinctly mixed results.
Whilst there are exceptions to the rule, such as soccer hardman Vinnie Jones (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”), who has eked out a career playing silver screen baddies, many other retired players, including Stan Collymore, have failed to successfully make the transition form pitch to premiere.
Bland’s previous work includes a slew of hip hop and heavy metal music vids and action thriller “Frank.”