Matt Damon is set to star in The Human Factor, joining Morgan Freeman in the Clint Eastwood-directed film for Warner Bros.
According to Variety, 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.
Production will begin early next year in South Africa.