Idris Elba Set to Play Nelson Mandela in Biopic
2012 has began in a big way for Brit actor Idris Elba. With rumours that his hit show Luther may be headed to the big screen, Idris has now signed on to play the role of Nelson Mandela, in an official biographical film about the iconic South African human rights leader. The film will be based on the book Long Walk to Freedom, penned by Mandela himself, and will begin filming later this year.
Doing the press rounds for “Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance,” Idris Elba caught up with HipHollywood and revealed that later this year, he’ll start lensing on another Mandela project. “My big project this year, I’m gonna go play Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’, an autobiographical work written by Nelson Mandela himself, which highlights his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison… That’s where my head is geared to this summer,” he said. Will Smith and Denzel Washington had been considered for the role, NME reports, but in the end, it appears as though the best man has won big.
Elba is set to join the ranks of talented actors who’ve been tapped to portray the apartheid activist in movies past. Morgan Freeman took on the part in Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus,” while David Harewood and Terrence Howard both inhabited the man for “Mrs. Mandela” and “Winnie” respectively. And there’s more on the way. Last month Variety revealed that a biopic mini-series was in the works for U.K. TV titled “Madiba” and based on “Conversations with Myself” and “Nelson Mandela by Himself.”