Gerard Butler is heading to the beach as a surfer in Curtis Hanson's upcoming biopic "Mavericks," Walden Media announced Friday.
Butler will play Rick "Frosty" Hesson, who mentored Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarty.
Moriarty was a surfer who mastered the fearsome big wave breaks, Maverick's in Half Moon Bay. He died in 2001 -- one day short of his 23rd birthday.
According to Walden, "Jay's story remains an inspiration to surfers and non-surfers around the globe, who've coined the phrase, 'Live like Jay.'"
Hanson ("8 Mile," "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle") is directing Kario Salem and Brandon Hooper's screenplay.
Butler and his manager, Alan Siegel, are executive producing. Hanson, Hooper and Jim Meenaghan are producing and Michael Bostick and Amanda Morgan Palmer are overseeing for Walden. Lakeshore Entertainment is handling international sales.
Principal photography is set for October.
Butler is repped by Jeremy Plager at CAA and Alan Siegel at Alan Siegel Management. Frank Smith, Walden's EVP business affairs, negotiated the deal.
Butler's newest movie, "Coriolanus," premieres at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday.