×

AFM: Forest Whitaker-Eric Bana Drama ‘The Forgiven’ Bought by Saban

Saban Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Roland Joffé’s South African drama “The Forgiven,” starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana.

Joffe is directing from a script he co-wrote with Michael Ashton based on Ashton’s play “The Archbishop and The Antichrist.” Whitaker portrays Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s work as in post-apartheid South Africa and his struggle with brutal murderer Piet Blomfeld (Bana).

The film is currently in production. WME Global handled North American rights, with 13 Films handling international sales at the upcoming American Film Market.

Joffe, whose credits include “The Killing Fields” and “The Scarlet Letter,” is also producing with Link Entertainment’s Craig Baumgarten (“Hook,” “Shattered Glass”)  and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light & Dark Films, with financing being provided by The Fyzz Facility.

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley said: “The depth in ‘The Forgiven’ is unnerving, something Roland Joffé is known for. Whitaker and Bana’s history of prestigious dramatic roles is something we know will translate into this film, they are experts within the genre and we’re eager to see their characters transform on-screen.”

Kim Ashton, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, John R. Sherman, Tannaz Anisi, Greg Schenz, Jeff Gum, Jeff Rice, Lee Broda executive produced.

Joffe has been developing the  project for several years with Whitaker starring. Vince Vaughn was attached to “the Forgiven” last year for the Blomfeld part, now filled by  Bana.  

Saban Films most recently acquired Sean Penn’s “The Last Face,” starring Penn, Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, and Jonathan Mostow’s” The Hunter’s Prayer,” starring Sam Worthington and newcomer Odeya Rush at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

  • Thomas Golubic8th Annual Guild of Music

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Film News Roundup: Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South' Bought for Awards Season Release

    In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.” ACQUISITIONS MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered [...]

  • Bad Education

    What 'Bad Education' Taught Us About the Slow Toronto Film Festival Market

    “Bad Education,” a dramedy starring Hugh Jackman as the embezzling superintendent of district of schools in Long Island, N.Y., was set to be this year’s “I, Tonya.” The movie has the same biting tone, shifting between comedy and tragedy. It received strong reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. And like “I, Tonya,” it even [...]

  • For web story

    Toronto: Sony Pictures Classics Buys 'The Burnt Orange Heresy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sony Pictures Classics has nabbed the rights to “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” Variety has learned. The indie label plans to release the film in 2020. The Italian-American thriller was directed by Giuseppe Capotondi and stars Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland. Scott Smith adapted Charles Willeford’s novel of the same name, transporting [...]

  • Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis

    Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis to Star in 'Justice of Bunny King'

    Essie Davis, star of “The Babadook” and autumn festival hit “Babyteeth,” and “Jojo Rabbit” co-star Thomasin McKenzie will headline upcoming drama “The Justice of Bunny King.” The film, now shooting in New Zealand, is a triumph over adversity tale about women fighting their way back from the bottom of society. It is the debut feature [...]

  • Calm With Horses

    Nick Rowland Talks About Toronto Debut Film 'Calm With Horses'

    “Calm with Horses,” which made its world premiere in Toronto’s TIFF in the Discovery section, is the feature directorial debut of Nick Rowland (Amazon series “Ripper Street”), and stars Barry Keoghan (Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals,” “Dunkirk”), Cosmo Jarvis (“Annihilation”), and Niamh Algar (BBC’s “The Virtues”). The script, which was adapted from Colin Barrett’s short story [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content