EXCLUSIVE: Martin Sheen is taking on the role of famed Pentecostal televangelist Oral Roberts in Come Sunday, the film based on a true story which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a renowned evangelical minister in Tulsa, OK who stirs up controversy with his revelation that there is no hell. The film is being directed by Joshua Marston from a script by Marcus Hinchey. The movie is based on a 2005 This American Life radio episode. The film also co-stars Broadway’s Condola Rashad (Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful, A Doll’s House, Part 2) as the minister’s wife.

Sheen will portray the founder of The Oral Roberts University and a mentor who treats Carlton (Ejiofor) like his own son until the young man denounces the existence of hell. Then he must publicly turn against the young pastor. At one point, it was thought that Robert Redford would play the role.

Endgame Entertainment’s James. D Stern is producing alongside This American Life‘s Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp.

Sheen, who is one of the country’s leading activists who gives a voice to both political and human rights causes, last starred as a priest in Terrence Malick’s spiritual fable The Vessel from Cuban-American writer/director Julio Quintana. Sheen also had a supporting role in Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply and starred for seven seasons as President Bartlet on The West Wing. He also enjoyed a supporting role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.

Sheen is repped by ICM Partners.