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Weinstein Co. acquires Nelson Mandela biopic

February 22, 2013|By Susan King
  • The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to the Nelson Mandela biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to the Nelson Mandela biopic "Mandela:… (Siphiwe Sibeko )

The Weinstein Co. and producer Anant Singh ("The First Grader") announced Friday that the company has acquired the North American, Australian and New Zealand distribution rights to "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," based on the legendary South African President Nelson Mandela's 1996 autobiography.

Singh  began communication with Mandela about making a film about his life while the anti-apartheid activist was still serving a life sentence in prison on charges of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. An international campaign lobbied for years for Mandela' release, which was finally granted in 1990.

The film, which was shot last year in South Africa, was written by William Nicholson ("Les Miserables," "Gladiator," "Shadowlands") and directed by Justin Chadwick ("The First Grader," "The Other Boleyn Girl").

Idris Elba ("Luther," "The Wire") stars as Mandela and Naomie Harris, last seen in "Skyfall," plays his wife, Winnie.

No release date has been set for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

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