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Idris Elba to star in Mandela biopic

03.19.2012

Idris Elba was announced to star in the Nelson Mandela biopic LONG WALK TO FREEDOM last week, but now the film has been announced to begin shooting this May with a release likely to be in time for awards season.

Elba is one of the better actors working today and yet rarely gets the full movie star roles he so richly deserves. From television roles on THE WIRE, THE OFFICE, and the excellent LUTHER, he has shown a great range, both dramatic and comedic. On the big screen, he is in the upcoming PROMETHEUS and has also been in the superhero films GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE and THOR.

According to the producers of the biopic (who have been trying to make this film for fifteen years), the movie will span Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The story is described as a thrilling and ultimately joyous story of a good man triumphing against all odds.

The film will be directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and written by William Nicholson (Gladiator). It has the potential to be a sweeping, epic film that could rocket Elba to the top of the Hollywood elite, if done correctly.

Extra Tidbit: Elba joins an esteemed list of actors who have played Mandela: Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, David Harewood, Dennis Haysbert, Terrence Howard, Clarke Peters, and Sidney Poitier.

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