Actor and DJ Idris Elba will bring the former South African President Nelson Mandela to life on the big screen in a new biopic about the former leader’s life.
Titled “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, the film is directed by British director Justin Chadwick, who brought us The Other Boleyn Girl and The First Grader. Starring in the lead role as Nelson Mandela is the dynamic London born actor, Idris Elba (pictured left). Best known for his role as Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell in the hugely successful TV series The Wire, Idris is also currently wowing audiences in the third season of BBC cop drama Luther. Viewers are often surprised to learn that Idris is British thanks to the absolutely spot-on Baltimore accent he perfected during The Wire. The challenge that comes with this new movie is nailing the often tricky South African accent.
The film is based on nelson’s 1994 memoir and is currently in post-production, the film is scheduled for release on 29 November 2013 in the USA (limited release) and on 3 January 2014 in the UK. The film also stars Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela.
Watch the official UK trailer (which is very moving in itself) below;
About Nelson Mandela
Born on 18 July 1918 in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was involved in the anti-apartheid movement from his 20s and joined the African national Congress aged 24. For over 20 years he established himself as something of a revolutionary with his campaign that advocated peaceful and non-violent action against the racist policies of the South African government.
However, in 1962 Nelson was arrested by the police and then spent 18 years in the notorious Robben Island prison. He then spent a further eight years in two other prisons, before eventually being released in 1990. This followed international attention on Nelson’s 70th birthday in 1988, which finally brought the situation to an international audience. By the time he was released on 11 February 1990 he had spent a total of 27 years in jail and was by then 72 years old.
In 1993 both Nelson Mandela and President F W de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace prize in recognition of their joint efforts in eradicating the apartheid system that existed in South Africa. And in 1994 history was truly made when Nelson became the country’s very first black President.
In 2009, the 18th of July was declared as Mandela Day, in recognition of the leader’s legacy and to further promote the message of peace.
Image Credit 2; lukeford.net 3; thierry ehrmann