Lionsgate Takes A “Machine Gun Preacher”

In an official press release, Lionsgate has confirmed it has acquired North American distribution rights to Marc Forster’s fact-based action drama “Machine Gun Preacher.”

The release also revealed an impressive cast for this story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who’ve been kidnapped and pressed into duty as soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Childers established an orphanage to house 200 children, then formed a militia to protect them, recover other kidnapped kids, and dispense outlaw justice on their captors.

As previously reported, Gerard Butler plays the title character, while Michelle Monaghan plays his wife and Michael Shannon his best friend. Joining them are Madeline Carroll as his daughter, Kathy Baker as his mother and Souleymane Sy Savane as his right-hand man in Africa.

Forster (“Quantum of Solace,” “Monster’s Ball,” “Finding Neverland”) directs the project and co-wrote the script with Jason Keller. Robbie Brenner, Brad Simpson, Deborah Giarratana, Gary Safady and Craig Chapman are producing.

Shooting kicks off July 5th in Detroit and South Africa with a Fall 2011 release planned.