Thor actor Idris Elba and Skyfall’s Naomie Harris are set to portray Nelson and Winnie Mandela in the biopic Long Walk To Freedom. Justin Chadwick is in talks to direct the film; a move which will see him reunite with Harris, who he directed in 2010’s The First Grader.

Screen Daily reports that Long Walk To Freedom will take a different route from Clint Eastwood’s 2009 effort Invictus, with this film “charting the whole of Mandela’s life, including scenes shot on notorious Robben Island where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in captivity”.

Ironically, Invictus star Morgan Freeman was once attached to play Mandela in this officially-sanctioned film, which has had a long walk of its own through production. In the past, directors such as Tom Hooper and Shekhar Kapur have been attached to direct the project, which was written by William Nicholson (Gladiator). However, it looks like the film will now definitely go in front of cameras, as crews have been booked for a shoot in South Africa this coming May.

Elba has had a rapidly growing fan base over the last few years, with roles in The Wire and Luther winning him plaudits. He also has Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim on the horizon, two films which will surely heighten his profile. Elba had a role in the recent (and much maligned) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but it’s probably best if we ignore that.

As for Harris, she’s got the Bond Girl thing going on opposite Daniel Craig in Skyfall, as well as having had past roles in the likes of Miami Vice and the Pirates of the Caribbean films Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.

Producer Anant Singh’s Videovision Entertainment and David Thompson’s Origin Pictures will produce Long Walk to Freedom, a film which is sure to have a high profile release, not just because of its cast, but also its subject matter.

Source: Screen Daily