22 February 2013 8:56 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The Weinstein Company has acquired all North American, Australian and New Zealand distribution rights to the Nelson Mandela biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The film stars Idris Elba ("Prometheus," "The Wire") in the title role of the former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary, and Naomie Harris ("Skyfall") as Mandela's wife of 39 years, Winnie. Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Deon Lotz and Terry Pheto co-star. The film is based on Mandela's autobiography of the same title, and is directed by Justin Chadwick ("The First Grader," "The Other Boleyn Girl"). Producer Anant Singh started communications with Mandela about a film based on his life while he was still in prison, and acquired film rights to the book at the time of its 1996 publication. The long-gestating project eventually signed Oscar nominee William Nicholson ("Les »

- Beth Hanna

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