Idris Elba To Take Long Walk To Freedom

Nelson Mandela biopic gets greenlight

With copies of Nelson Mandela's autobiography A Long Walk To Freedom adorning bookshelves across the globe, and the great man's story offering enough epic epicness to water the eyes of David O. Selznick himself, it's no surprise to discover that a big-screen adaptation is now in the works. Idris Elba is on board to play Mandela, with The Other Boleyn Girl's Justin Chadwick behind the camera.

Gladiator co-writer William Nicholson has penned a script that will promises to span Mandela's incredible life, from his upbring in a remote Eastern Cape village to his inauguration as the first democratically-elected President of South Africa. Along the way, of course, is that bitter battle against the forces of apartheid and 27 gruelling years in prison.

Surprisingly, considering the Hollywood interest in the book even pre-Invictus, the rights were picked up by South African 15 years ago before the big studios could snaffle them. Mandela was integral in that decision, and it'd be nice to think his love of The Wire was a factor in the casting too. Although it probably wasn't.

A Long Walk To Freedom's shoot is scheduled to last just under four months and will span key locations across the Eastern and Western Capes, Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, as well as the infamous Robben Island, Pollsmoor and Victor Verster prisons where Mandela was incarcerated for so long.