Gerard Butler, white hot after his starring role in the worldwide smash 300, has signed to play the lead in Lakeshore Entertainment's futuristic thriller Game.

The film marks Lakeshore's third collaboration with Crank creators Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who wrote the screenplay and will direct. Principal photography is set to start in January 2008.

Butler will portray Kable, the champion of an online simulation that uses brain implants to enable players to control other humans in a vast multi-player contest.

Growing weary of the intense scrutiny, Kable battles to retain his identity and topple the system that has imprisoned him.

Lakeshore previously partnered with Neveldine and Taylor on the Jason Statham action release Crank and are preparing to begin principal photography on the upcoming horror title Pathology that Marc Schoelermann will direct.

Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, and Skip Williamson are producing Game.

'As the world witnessed in 300, Gerard Butler is a commanding performer and he connects with an audience on many levels,' Rosenberg said.

'He is the perfect actor to play Kable, a man who represents the fight against the ruthless commercialisation of our lives.

'Mark and Brian's visionary story is a forewarning to us all. The internet has given us global interconnectivity yet it has also has made us more isolated, voyeuristic and predatory.'

Butler's credits include The Phantom Of The Opera, Tomb Raider 2, Dear Frankie, and P.S. I Love You. He is represented by Alan Siegel Entertainment and CAA.

Lakeshore's Cannes slate includes: Mark Pellington's upcoming drama Henry Pool Is Here starring Luke Wilson; Isabel Coixet's untitled Philip Roth adaptation with Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Peter Sarsgaard and Patricia Clarkson; cyber-thriller Untraceable starring Diane Lane; and horror title Midnight Meat Train.