Last month, while on the promotional campaign for ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance,’ Idris Elba revealed that he’ll be playing Nelson Mandela in an upcoming adaptation of Mandela’s own stunning account of his extraordinary life ‘Long Walk To Freedom.’ Idris Elba had the following to say about playing Nelson Mandela:  “My big project this year, I’m gonna go play Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’, an autobiographical work written by Nelson Mandela himself…That’s where my head is geared to this summer.”

Screendaily are now reporting that Naomie Harris (Skyfall, “Pirates of the Caribbean”) is in talks to play the role of Winnie Mandela, while Justin Chadwick, helmer of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘The First Grader’ (also starring Harris), is in talks to direct. The much anticipated biopic, officially sanctioned by Nelson Mandela, has had a number of UK directors attached during its long gestation, including Tom Hooper and Shekhar Kapur. ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Shadowlands’ and ‘Les Miserables’ writer William Nicholson has scripted the film.

‘Long Walk To Freedom’ chronicles Nelson Mandela’s early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison. A good portion of it was secretly written while Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island by South Africa’s apartheid regime. Mandela’s lifetime struggle for human rights in South Africa is filled with humiliation and pride, success and defeat, courage and doubt, joy and sorrow, anguish and hope, love and forgiveness. For me, I can’t imagine that many actors working today that can encapsulate the diverse range of emotions Mandela experienced during his momentous life, Idris Elba is certainly one of them.

Nelson Mandela has previously been portrayed on screen by Morgan Freeman in Clint Eastwood’s biographical sports drama ‘Invictus,’  David Harewood in the BBC’s ‘Mrs Mandela,’ and Terrence Howard more recently in ‘Winnie,’ the film adaptation of Anne Marie du Preez Bezrob’s biography ‘Winnie Mandela: A Life.’ Idris Elba will next be seen on the big-screen in Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ this summer, and Guillermo Del Toro’s science fiction kaiju film ’Pacific Rim’ in 2013.