Fox 2000 has come aboard to co-finance and distribute "Of Men and Mavericks", a Gerard Butler drama based on a chapter in the life of accomplished surfer Jay Moriarity, who died in a tragic diving accident at the age of 22. In addition, Elisabeth Shue and Abigail Spencer have signed on to co-star.

Moriarity earned a reputation as a fearless big-wave surfer at the age of 16, when his wipeout at Mavericks, a surf spot in Half Moon Bay, California, made the cover of "Surfer" magazine. He drowned in June 2001, one day before his 23rd birthday, while diving off the Lohifushi Island resort in the Maldives, where he was visiting for a photo shoot with O'Neill, a prominent surfing brand.

Butler is attached to star in the film as Frosty Hesson, a local surfer who mentored Moriarity (played here by relative newcomer Jonny Weston) as a teenager, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story. Shue will star as Moriarity's mother, while Spencer will play Hesson's wife. Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential") is directing from a script by Kario Salem and Brandon Hooper.


The film is scheduled to begin production in Northern California later this month.