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Chiwetel Ejiofor is joining the Netflix flock.
The 12 Years a Slave star is in negotiations to portray an evangelical minister in the true-story film Come Sunday for the streaming giant. Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) is directing.
Ejiofor will star opposite Robert Redford, who is set to play Oral Roberts, as The Hollywood Reporter previously reported.
Based on a This American Life episode from 2005, Come Sunday chronicles the story of Carlton Pearson (Ejiofor), a renowned evangelical minister in Tulsa, Okla., who stirs up controversy with his revelation that there is no hell. He loses everything and must rebuild his church and his family and find his own personal faith. Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things) wrote the screenplay.
The project, formerly titled Heretics, was originally set up at Endgame Entertainment in 2010 as a directing vehicle for Marc Forster, who will be involved as an executive producer. Jeffrey Wright had previously been in talks to take on the starring role of Pearson, and Jonathan Demme also flirted with the long-gestating project. Endgame (Looper) is financing and producing, with production scheduled to begin in January.
Endgame’s James D. Stern is producing Come Sunday alongside This American Life‘s Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp. Color Force’s Brad Simpson, who was involved in the project when Forster was developing it, is executive producing.
Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith are overseeing the project for Endgame.
Come Sunday is the latest pedigree film that Netflix has boarded in recent months. The company also announced on Tuesday that it is teaming with John Wells to bring a feature film about the Panama Papers to the screen. It also has the big-budget Will Smith starrer Bright on the horizon.
Ejiofor, who co-starred in last year’s The Martian, will next appear as Baron Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange.
He is repped by CAA and attorney Robert S. Wallerstein.
Marston, whose Complete Unknown debuted at Sundance in January, is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Epstein, Levinsohn.
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