Matt Damon has joined Morgan Freeman in the Clint Eastwood-directed ''The Human Factor,'' about the 1995 Rugby World Cup and how it helped South Africa heal after years of apartheid
Matt Damon
Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

(FROM VARIETY) ? Matt Damon will star alongside Morgan Freeman in The Human Factor, the Clint Eastwood-directed movie about the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Damon, who has been considering a role in the movie since last year, will play rugby star and South African team captain Francois Pienaar, who along with former South African president Nelson Mandela (Freeman) created an event that gave the country’s whites and blacks a common cause to rally around as the country healed from years of apartheid. The film is an adaptation of the John Carlin book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Changed the World. Immediately after the fall of apartheid, when Mandela was finally released from prison and became president, the majority of South Africa’s blacks viewed their rugby team as a symbol of exclusion. But with his country set to host the World Cup, Mandela decided to get behind the team, and when the tournament finally started, black citizens were rooting alongside their white countrymen as their team won in overtime against New Zealand to capture the Cup. Shooting on Human Factor is scheduled to start in early 2009. Damon just finished shooting the as-yet untitled Paul Greengrass-directed drama based on Imperial Life in Emerald City, and he’s currently working on Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. (Variety)