It was announced today that Forest Whitaker will star as the tyrannical and mercurial Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. The project was developed for several years by Film Four, is being financed by both Film Four and DNA, and will be distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. James McAvoy will appear opposite Whitaker as a Scottish doctor who unwittingly becomes Amin’s closest advisor. Based on Giles Foden’s award-winning novel of the same name and adapted by Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, the film will be helmed by Oscar-winning documentary director Kevin Macdonald.
The Last King of Scotland is produced by Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films, and Lisa Bryer and Charles Steel of Cowboy Films. It is executive produced by Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA and Tessa Ross from Film Four.
Said Producer Andrea Calderwood: “There are so many African stories to be told. It’s a continent full of extremes and untapped cinematic potential. This story, in particular, has a continuing contemporary resonance.”
Added Executive Producer Tessa Ross: “A master of storytelling through the documentary genre, Kevin Macdonald is the perfect choice to direct this fascinating project.”
Said Executive Producer Andrew Macdonald: “DNA leapt at the opportunity to pair the exceptional talents of Forest Whitaker with the rising star of James McAvoy. We are anxious to see this film brought to life on the big screen.”
In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world’s most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Impressed by Dr. Garrigan’s brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin’s savagery — and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and get out of Uganda alive.