Michael Ashton’s post-Apartheid play The Archbishop and the Antichrist is headed to the silver screen, and today brings word that the drama has tapped Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, The Butler) and Vince Vaughn (True Detective, Hacksaw Ridge) for leading roles. Two-time Oscar nominated writer/director Roland Joffé is behind the lens for this one.
Understood to be simmering in pre-production, Joffé’s adaptation will place Whitaker and Vaughn on two very different sides of post-Apartheid South Africa, with the former set to play a fictionalized version of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, while the latter will assume the role of infamous murderer and warlord Piet Blomfield. Serving a life sentence in prison for his heinous crimes, The Archbishop and the Antichrist explores the trying relationship between the pair, as Tutu sets about heralding a new era of peace to the troubled country.
In shepherding the tale from one medium to the next, Joffé will have the support of Michael Ashton, who is attached to help pen the screenplay. 13 Films is reportedly handling the international rights for the political drama, with filming slated to begin in early 2016 ahead of a theatrical release in late 2016 to coincide with the awards season or, on the other hand, early 2017. Expressing his excitement of the casting, 13 Films President Tannaz Anisi released a brief statement in the wake of today’s news.
“Forest Whitaker brings a great sense of depth and power to all his performances and he is the perfect match for Tutu’s complex character. Vince Vaughn continues to prove his wide-ranging acting skills following his more dramatic roles in ‘Into the Wild’ and the upcoming ‘Hacksaw Ridge.’”
True Detective season 2 may have wasted Vince Vaughn’s dramatic ability, but The Archbishop and the Antichrist is simply oozing with dramatic potential – and hopefully a compelling dynamic between Vaughn and Whitaker. The latter is currently knee deep in all things sci-fi for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, while Vaughn is part of Mel Gibson’s starry cast for Hacksaw Ridge.