New Look At Idris Elba As Nelson Mandela

Fresh Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom poster

"21 years in captivity
Shoes too small to fit his feet
His body abused, but his mind is still free
You're so blind that you cannot see"

Here at Empire we like to start everyday with a protest song - yesterday it was '19' by Paul Hardcastle - but there's an actual reason for dusting off The Special A.K.A.'s 1984 blast of agit-pop, and it's below in the bearded features of Idris Elba. The Brit is playing Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on its new poster.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has been adapted from the great man's 1994 autobiography by esteemed Gladiator and Les Misérables scribe William Nicholson, something of a specialist in cinematic injustices. Of course, it would be trite to compare Nelson Mandela's treatment at the hands of the apartheid regime with any fictional carry-ons. Tried on trumped-up charges of sabotage and conspiracy, he was slung into Robben Island prison and remained incarcerated for 27 years.

While this poster plays on Mandela's firebrand reputation as an impassioned head of the ANC, the movie will span his life from childhood to presidency. Naomie Harris takes on the role of his campaigning wife, Winnie.
Mandela now has the full brunt of The Weinstein Company behind it after a successful Cannes, and looks likely to draw awards heat after its US release on November 29. Could it match the power of Denzel Washington-starring Steve Biko biopic Cry Freedom and its Oscar recognition? With Elba really hitting his straps on the big screen, don't count against it.