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Forest Whitaker Set for Desmond Tutu Biopic from Roland Joffe; Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Zegers Part of ‘The Colony’

Written by on February 16, 2012 

His considerable and proven talents notwithstanding, the post-Last King of Scotland phase of Forest Whitaker‘s career has been rough, to put it in layman’s terms. The past four years have seen him take on Vantage Point, Repo Men, Our Family Wedding, Powder Blue, and Street Kings, all either complete failures or reported as such — and, perhaps even worse, containing performances that are entirely forgotten. And a Criminal Minds spin-off? Really? Whatever needs to pay the bills, I guess, but this guy’s got on Oscar; CBS dramas should be a last resort.

ScreenDaily is here to make matters a little less dire, telling us that he’ll be pairing with director Roland Joffe on The Archbishop and the Antichrist, a prison-set, slightly fictional story revolving around South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In the film — which Joffe himself adapted from Michael Ashton‘s play — the beloved activist has “a meeting [with] a boorish white South African mass murderer called Piet Blomfield.” From here, some investigating indicates that The Archbishop will raise ethical questions about Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, all as Blomfield seeks redemption before his execution. It could almost be seen as a return to Scotland territory for Whitaker — other than the whole “playing a total monster” — and if my above thoughts hold any weight, we should be thankful for that much.

Joffe announced another new project, In God We Trust, a “thriller about stealing a country, manipulating money but also about the desire to kill your parents,” something the director feels can coincide. Interesting, to say the least. When coupled with the news that his Josh Hartnett and Neve Campbell-starring Singularity might not fall into the much-dreaded depths of unseen motion pictures, it’s been a pretty good couple of days for the guy.

Moving on to something entirely different, THR has the news that Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Zegers (Transamerica) are in final talks to lead The Colony, which newcomer Jeff Renfroe will direct from a script by himself, Patrick Tarr, Pascal Trottier, and Svet Rouskov; more cast members are expected to be announced when shooting begins on February 22nd.

Produced by independent Canadian financiers, the picture is described as a “sci-fi thriller about a group of underground survivors after the next Ice Age fending off an invasion of feral cannibals.” Well, that sounds like the kind of movie I’d enjoy — it even combines my three favorite things! (In a very rigid order, from best to still-great: Canada, the apocalypse, and cannibalism.) You can glean that I’m already something of a sucker for the project — the casting of Fishburne doesn’t mellow me at all, either — but that’s just how it goes.

Is it possible that Archbishop will be a return to form for Whitaker? What are your early thoughts on The Colony?

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