Barkhad Abdi, speeding ahead. Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi, speeding ahead. Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi may have found the follow-up to his feature film debut, "Captain Phillips."
The Minneapolis Oscar nominee is reportedly in negotiations to star as a South African marathon champion in the historical drama "The Place That Hits The Sun."

The movie is a biography of legendary Zulu distance runner Willie Mtolo, and his friendship with Ray de Vries, a white bar owner. Their unlikely relationship transcended South Africa's apartheid policy of racial separation.

Before 1991 Mtolo and other South African runners were not allowed to compete internationally because of sanctions resulting from its apartheid policies. Mtolo won the 1992 New York Marathon, outdistancing his rivals and running alone the final 3.2 miles.

Producer Noel Pearson (of the Oscar-nominated Daniel Day-Lewis drama "My Left Foot") is developing the project for his Ferndale Films. 

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