We told you about it a few months ago, but now it’s official. Our favorite Brit, Idris Elba will indeed play South African icon Nelson Mandela in an upcoming biopic.

The film will be based on the book Long Walk to Freedom, and will begin filming later this year. Although there are few details surrounding the production, this is just one of two planned films on Nelson Mandela.

The other project, Madiba, is a six-part miniseries produced by Mandela’s grandson, Kweku Mandela, and will use two of the great leader’s books to frame the film. Madiba will is also being produced by  three different global companies–UK’s Left Bank Pictures, Canada’s Blue Ice Films and South Africa’s Out of Africa Entertainment–and will begin filming later this year.

Will you be tuning in to one or both Mandela biopics? 


*Via Shadow & Act

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  • Ooh, I can’t wait for the responses on this article, because it’s going to be hot!

    I love Idris, I really do but I am really having trouble picturing him as Nelson Mandela. This goes back to the “Thandi depicting a Nigerian Woman debate.”

    Idris is actually African, so I won’t discredit him immediately…but you have to know that Madiba is South African, specifically from the Xhosa tribe. This tribe has distinct facial features, language, and other cultural markers.

    I can for a fact tell you that they will not be amused by this depiction of Madiba. For the American audience, most viewers will not look into it or make it a big deal.

    But, to depict one of the most respected and highly regarding African leaders of ETERNITY…I’m just not sure!

    • Cia

      When I first saw the article about Thandie Newton playing an Igbo woman (she is from Britain/Zimbabwe) I was like whatever, but I am finishing reading the book and physically she does not fit the character at all.

    • Dalili

      **I love Idris, I really do but I am really having trouble picturing him as Nelson Mandela.**

      I thought the same thing. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • eh…I fawn for this man….but I think the role should have been awarded to someone else….more so for the physical traits not matching up…..

  • IMO

    At least Idris is a dark skinned black man with African features. This is not as egregious as Thandi’s casting. They might as well have cast Ashley Tisdale for the role…

    • Pelo

      Nelson Mandela is not dark-skinned at all.

  • AustralianGirl

    Idris looks nothing like Mandela. But he may still do a good job, we’ll see.

    My uncle saw him when he was released from jail in 1990.

    My sister and dad have campaigned for the ANC.

    • AustralianGirl

      *Clarification: my uncle saw Mandela when he was released from jail

  • Another case of the right film for the wrong actor…