For years Zoe Saldana has been one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. Despite having quite a few films under her belt, including appearances in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe and “Avatar,” she has yet to find a project that allows her to fully shine as the star. Well, perhaps the upcoming film “Sabaya” will be the project that makes Saldana a true acting powerhouse in Hollywood.
The actress is now set to star in the upcoming film “Sabaya,” which is directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Reed Morano and is based on the untold story of a CIA mission that brought down ISIS. “Sabaya” follows the story of a CIA operative (Saldana) that befriends a 15-year-old ISIS sex slave (also known as a sabaya). With the information provided by the young girl, the CIA is able to put together a mission that leads to the death of a top ISIS official and the fall of the Islamic State.
The film is written by William Monahan and is directed by Morano. After winning an Emmy for her work on the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Morano has recently launched her feature directing career, debuting in last year’s film “I Think We’re Alone Now.” She also has her major studio debut, the action film “The Rhythm Section,” hitting theaters in January 2020.
“It is an honor to be a part of the telling of this story,” said Saldana. “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, “‘Sabaya’ is 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.”
As mentioned, the film is written by William Monahan, who is probably best known for working on projects such as “Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Gambler,” and “The Departed.”
“‘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,” said the writer. “It’s a story of doing the right thing against desperate odds, and if you think about it, no film that’s any 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 ‘Sabaya.’”
There’s no word on when production might happen, or when “Sabaya” might arrive in theaters.
Here’s the synopsis:
A female CIA officer (Saldana) befriends a recently escaped ISIS sex slave, or “sabaya,” a 15-year-old Yazidi girl who can neither read nor write. Together, as they piece together the sabaya’s 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 spells the end of the Islamic State.