According to Variety, Italy's Istituto Luce has boarded Billie August-helmed Goodbye Bafana, a South Africa-set drama rooted in the real-life rapport that Nelson Mandela developed during his incarceration with his white prison guard.

Shooting starts in South Africa in March on the $25 million pic that Dennis Haysbert ("24") and Joseph Fiennes will topline, with Diane Kruger also attached.

Bafana is being exec produced by David Wicht's Cape Town-based Film Afrika, and mounted as a South African-European co-prod. Gaul's Ilann Girard's Arsam is the co-producer and pic is being sold by Celluloid Dreams.

Brian B.