Principal photography commenced on Monday March 2 in South Africa on a Warner Bros. Pictures feature film with four-time Oscar winner Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven) as director. The film, still to be titled, stars Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight, Million Dollar Baby) and Matt Damon (the Bourne franchise, Good Will Hunting).
Freeman portrays Nelson Mandela in the true story of how the newly elected South African president joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Damon), to help unite the country. The screenplay is by native South African writer Anthony Peckham, based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation.
The film reveals how in the wake of apartheid, President Mandela who knows his nation remains racially and economically divided, decides to bring South Africans of all races together through the universal language of sport. Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Spyglass Entertainment, the film is being produced by Eastwood; Lori McCreary, under her and Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment banner; Eastwood’s longtime producing partner Robert Lorenz, for Malpaso Productions; and Mace Neufeld. Freeman, Tim Moore, and Spyglass Entertainment’s Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum are executive producers.
For the production, Eastwood has reunited with his veteran behind-the-scenes production team, who most recently collaborated with him on the films Gran Torino and Changeling. Re-teaming with the director are: director of photography Tom Stern, production designer James J. Murakami, editors Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, and costume designer Deborah Hopper.
The film will be shot entirely on location in and around the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, utilizing hundreds of local crewmembers, cast and extras. Location production services are being provided by Moonlighting Films with Genevieve Hofmeyr serving as South African Supervising Producer.