Daaaaaaamn, now that’s an A-list! It’s called “The Human Factor”, and Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman will star with Clint Eastwood announced as directing. The movie will be based on a true story, and is about, er, rugby. Yes, rugby. I don’t think anyone outside of an Ivy League school in the States even knows how rugby is played, but I guess that’s going to change by the time “The Human Factor” rolls into theaters. The project was originally announced last year, but only Damon and Freeman were involved then.
Variety has more on the cast and crew, and the story (the real Pienaar, with Mandela, pictured above left):
Damon will play rugby star Francois Pienaar, who created, with Nelson Mandela, an event that gave whites and blacks in South Africa a common cause to rally around as the country was trying to heal from the wounds of apartheid.
The Anthony Peckham-scripted drama is an adaptation of John Carlin’s book “The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World.”
Mandela, freed from 27 years in prison and elected president, decided to get behind South Africa’s Springboks team when the country was selected as host country for the 1985 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks had been banned from international competition because of the country’s apartheid practices.
The majority of blacks viewed the team as a symbol of exclusion, but they rooted along with white countrymen as the Springboks won in overtime against New Zealand to capture the Cup. Pienaar was the Springboks captain who developed a relationship with Mandela during the team’s run.
Warner Bros. is footing the bill, with the film scheduled to begin production early next year on location in South Africa.
Still don’t know what rugby is? Here is a picture of some guys playing rugby. No, really. That’s a real picture of a rugby game.