Douglas Booth and Billy Crudup have signed on to star in the sports drama Life at These Speeds. The story centers on “a rural teenager (Booth) who loses his best friends in a tragic accident and channels his survivor’s guilt into an addiction to running, becoming a world-class distance runner in the process.” More than a decade after portraying famed long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine in Without Limits, Crudup will return to the track world to play Booth’s coach and confidante. Leif Tilden will direct Life at These Speeds from a script by Marc Novak, adapted from the novel of the same name by Jeremy Jackson. Sam Rockwell is executive producing alongside Scott William Alvarez and Peter Holden. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
This is my first encounter with the 19-year-0ld Booth, but my goodness is he pretty. Like a British Chace Crawford. He explained the allure of the project to Variety:
“Sometimes a script comes along that really makes you sit up and pay attention,” said Booth. “Life at These Speeds has an emotional intensity that really kicked me in the guts. I love the challenge of playing characters forced on life-changing emotional journeys. To work on a project with Billy Crudup and Sam Rockwell is just a dream come true.”
Booth just played Pip in the BBC miniseries Great Expectations, which will air on PBS in April. Sadly, his Hollywood debut is in the Miley Cyrus vehicle LOL. Booth will follow that up with the decidedly more promising Romeo and Juliet, co-starring as Romeo opposite Hailee Steinfeld.
The synopsis for Jackson’s book:
When the school van veers off a bridge and plunges into the river below, everyone on the track team is killed except star Kevin Schuler, who rode home with his parents that evening. Repressing almost all memory of that season, Kevin begins high school in a different district, where he remains isolated from other students and teammates. Claiming he hates running, the star athlete nonetheless finds peace in it, losing himself in concentration when he runs. As Kevin sets more records and becomes locally famous, the clouds that hang over him take on new forms and he must successfully navigate his own course through all the noise of the outside world, dodging those who would tempt him in different directions. [Amazon]