AFM: Saban Picks Up Roland Joffe's 'The Forgiven,' Starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana

Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana - Split - H - 2016
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The film, which is heading to AFM, sees Whitaker as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his struggle with a brutal murderer in post-apartheid South Africa.

Roland Joffe's upcoming drama about South African icon Desmond Tutu has found a North American home.

Saban Films on Monday announced it has acquired domestic rights to The Forgiven, starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana.

Co-written by Oscar-winner Joffe and Michael Ashton and based on Ashton’s play The Archbishop and The Antichrist, the drama follows Archbishop Tutu’s (Whitaker) work as President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa and his struggle with a brutal murderer Piet Blomfeld (Bana) over concession and redemption. The film is currently in production.

"The depth in The Forgiven is unnerving, something Roland Joffé is known for," said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley in a statement. "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."

Joffe produced the film alongside Link Entertainment’s Craig Baumgarten and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light & Dark Films, with financing provided by The Fyzz Facility. Bromiley negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. WME Global handled North American rights, with 13 Films handling international sales at the upcoming American Film Market. Kim Ashton, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, John R. Sherman, Tannaz Anisi, Greg Schenz, Jeff Gum, Jeff Rice and Lee Broda executive produced.

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.