Gerard Butler to Play 'Machine Gun Pastor' in Film

"The Bounty Hunter" star Gerard Butler will play the role of the drug-dealing biker who turns into a gun-toting pastor that defends children in the new film "Machine Gun Preacher."

Based on the true story of Sam Childers, the movie will capture how he changed from a violent, high school dropout who started using drugs at age 11 to a Christian preacher that protects Sudanese children from the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army.

The film will begin shooting in early July, according to Variety magazine.

Last year, Childers spoke to The Christian Post about his incredible life carrying an AK-47 in rural Sudan and caring for orphans while promoting his book Another Man's War: The True Story of One Man's Battle to Save Children in the Sudan.

"I don't condone violence at all," Childers responded when The Christian Post asked about his use of heavy firearms. "I don't believe in violence but at the same time I don't believe that children should be raped, murdered, or cut up."

"I look of it as a self-defense and I look at it as I'm helping God's children," he explained. "I'm not a person out to murder. It's not that I like hurting anybody. But at the same time these people need to be stopped."

The unconventional American pastor has spent most of the past 12 years in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda building the Angels of East Africa Children's village and rescuing children from attacks by the LRA.

In the book, he recalls gruesome scenes after LRA raids that included smelling the burning of flesh and saving a woman drenched in her own blood from a breast that was half cut off by a machete. He said the crazed rebel group often even forced victims to engage in acts of cannibalism and children to butcher their mothers.

"I loved fighting then. And I still love fighting now. The difference is today I'm fighting for the children and families God sent me to protect," Childers wrote in his book.

Childers rededicated his life to Christ at a revival meeting in 1992, a few years after his wife, Lynn, also accepted Christ as her savior. Both Lynn and their daughter, Paige, are involved in the ministry in Sudan.

The film "Machine Gun Preacher" is expected to be released in the fall of 2011, according to Lionsgate entertainment company.

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