River Road’s Bill Pohlad will produce and finance. Bill Gerber and Matt Palmieri will also produce.
Penn will direct from a script by Erin Dignam with producers aiming to begin shooting this summer in Africa.
Theron will play a relief worker and Bardem will play a doctor in Africa with Bardem’s character being forced to choose between romance and dedication to his work. Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”) has been cast as a journalist.
The drama focuses on a talented and charismatic doctor (Bardem) who is forced to choose between his love for an American relief worker (Theron) or his dedication to saving lives in war-torn African nations.
Penn previously worked with Pohlad on “Into the Wild,” which Penn directed, and on Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.”
Penn and Bardem have recently completed work on Pierre Morel’s “The Gunman.” Theron will be seen next month in “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”
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Dingam’s credits include “The Yellow Handkerchief.”