Did Gerard Butler Lose a Fight with a Pool?

Hear us out.

Gerard Butler Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Listen, we've all been there, haven't we? Those rookie hair care mistakes always seem to stick with you, teaching you invaluable lessons (that almost always cost too much money to fix). The shower after a perm, a sweaty stain after a fresh dye job. The curly hair bangs. Hitting the pool after a botched bleaching and turning your hair a stomach-churning shade of seafoam green.

It's that last one from which Gerard Butler seems to be suffering. Or, at least, the character he plays in his mysterious-sounding new film, In the Hand of Dante.

actor Gerard Butler and director Julian Schnabel filming In The Hand of Dante in NY December 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Follow the dark and violent path of a man who plunges into a metaphorical hell until he reaches paradise in search of his forbidden and impossible love," the IMDb page for director Julian Schnabel's new film portends.

Plunge, you say? PLUNGE? Like one does in, say, a pool? Is this metaphorical hell reached via diving board at the Coney Island YMCA (or is it the one on McBurney)? Is that why Butler's character's suit color matches his messed-up hair?

For those who may have no idea what we're talking about, In the Hand of Dante is based on the 2002 Nick Tosches book of the same name, where a fictionalized version of the author finds himself on a juxtapositional journey to that of the author Dante Alighieri. The film stars Oscar Isaac as Nick, and will feature an impressive cast (seemingly playing multiple parts in the interweaving narratives) including Butler and Gal Gadot. Schnabel recently revealed that Al Pacino, John Malkovich, Benjamin Clementine, and The White Lotus star Sabrina Impacciatore will also make appearances in what sounds like an opulent, star-studded mystery.

I think we can all agree, however, that the real mystery is: how could Gerard Butler's character in this film have messed up his hair this badly? Was it the first time he'd ever dyed his hair blonde? Was the pool over-chlorinated that day? Is the pool and/or chlorine sentient and have it out for Mr. Butler's character for reasons we do not understand? Are we really over-indulging our imagination here in the name of word count? And has anyone told him that all he needs to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda into his shampoo to help neutralize the green?

Only time will tell, I guess.

Alicia Lutes
Freelance Writer

Alicia Lutes is a freelance writer, essayist, journalist, humorist, and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. She has written extensively on culture, entertainment, the craft of comedy, and mental health. Her work has been featured in places such as Vulture, Playboy, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Rotten Tomatoes, Bustle, Longreads, and more. She was also the creator/former host of the web series Fangirling, and currently fosters every single dog she can.