Mark Rylance Confirmed for 'Waiting for the Barbarians' (Exclusive)

Mark Rylance - GETTY - H 2016
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The Oscar winner will play a magistrate who reconsiders his role in a regime in the adaptation of J.M. Coetzee's allegorical novel.

Academy Award winner Mark Rylance is set for a leading role in the feature-film adaptation of South Africa-born Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee's acclaimed 1980 novel Waiting for the Barbarians. 

The Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk and Ready Player One star had been rumored for some time, but has now officially joined the cast, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 

To be directed by Ciro Guerra, with principal photography slated to begin this fall in Europe and North America, Waiting for the Barbarians is being financed and produced by Andrea Iervolino's newly launched blockchain-based social entertainment platform TaTaTu. 

The allegorical story — which has already been adapted into an opera by Philip Glass — centers on a magistrate; a loyal servant (played by Rylance) of "the Empire" who is working in a tiny frontier town, doing his best to ignore an inevitable war with the so-called "barbarians." After he witnesses the cruel and unjust treatment of prisoners of war, he reconsiders his role in the regime and carries out a quixotic act of rebellion.

"There is no one better suited or better equipped than Mark Rylance for a role as complex as that of the magistrate in waiting for the barbarians," said Iervolino. "The story is his to own and bring to life in a way that only he can."

Alongside TaTaTu, the movie is being produced by Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Media Group, as well as Michael Fitzgerald and Olga Segura.