From Variety: Rachel Weisz, Ian McKellen and Susan Sarandon have joined Colin Firth in The Colossus, a colonial drama set in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century, to be directed by Sean Mathias. Based on Ann Harries’ novel “Manly Pursuits,” the $15 million film was written by Mathias and Myer Taub, and produced by Lisa Katselas. The Colossus is a fictionalized version of real events. It’s the story of ornithologist Francis Wills (Firth), who is hired to transport English songbirds to recently deposed South African prime minister Cecil Rhodes (McKellen). Wills falls in love with a firebrand political activist (Weisz) and becomes entangled in a plot to stop the imminent Boer War. Variety says the project is expected to shoot this fall. [More]