Zoe Saldana to star in Reed Morano’s thriller drama Sabaya
According to Deadline, MCU star Zoe Saldana has signed on for the leading role in Emmy Award-winning director Reed Morano’s forthcoming thriller drama titled Sabaya, which will be based on a true event that centers on the 2015 U.S. Special Forces raid that killed a top ISIS leader. Saldana was last seen in this year’s Avengers: Endgame which is now the highest-grossing film of all time, making Saldana the second highest-grossing actress of all time for her appearances in Avatar and Endgame.
“It is an honor to be a part of the telling of this story,” Saldana said in a statement. “This young woman’s journey is one for the books, and I am beyond grateful we will get to immortalize it on the silver screen.”
Morano added, “A larger than life epic but it’s also an intimate, raw portrait of a young girl’s determination and the bond that forms between these two women. I’ve not seen such a mind-blowing adventure that is simultaneously so emotionally transcendent, from these perspectives before. I’m thrilled to be telling this powerful story with the incredible Bill and Zoe.”
Written by Oscar-winner William Monahan (The Departed) from a story from Spycraft Entertainment, Sabaya will follow the story of a female CIA officer (Saldana), who befriended a recently escaped ISIS sex slave, or “sabaya.” The 15-year-old Yazidi girl can neither read nor write, but as Saldana’s character works with the teen to piece together her harrowing odyssey out of Syria, the CIA officer finds that the abused girl has pinpointed the nerve center of the Caliphate. The subsequent dramatic raid on the site of the young woman’s captivity results in the capture of intelligence that would result to the downfall of the Islamic State.
“[Sabaya is] the best material for an emotionally powerful theatrical war film that I have seen in ages and I don’t say that lightly. It’s a story of doing the right thing against desperate odds, and if you think about it, no film that’s any real good is about anything else whatsoever. Sabaya is what the big screen is for, and this dream team we’ve got is all out for [it].” Monahan said.
The story was developed by Spycraft Entertainment’s Grant Verstanding and former CIA officers John Sipher and Jerry O’Shea, who create and develop content based on their own stories and stories of other retired Intelligence officers.