Idris Elba in Talks to Portray Nelson Mandela

The Wire star might play the former South African leader.

Posted: 12/14/2011 06:47 PM EST
Idris Elba, Nelson Mandela, The Wire, biopic film

He’s perhaps best known for his role as the brilliantly ruthless Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire, but Idris Elba is gearing up to potentially play that character’s polar opposite. According to UK site FlickeringMyth, the British actor is thisclose to signing on to play South African civil rights legend Nelson Mandela. This movie is being called the “official” biopic of Mandela’s life, unlike previous movies such as Invictus (where Mandela was played by Morgan Freeman), Endgame (The Wire alum Clarke Peters), Mandela (Danny Glover), Mandela and de Klerk (Sidney Poitier), Goodbye Bafana (Dennis Haysbert) and Winnie (Terrence Howard).

For it to be a true biography, Elba will have to cover lots of ground, from Mandela’s crusade against the apartheid government, to his subsequent imprisonment, to his election to president of the African National Congress, to the day in 1993 when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, to his triumphant election as president of South Africa a year later.

Do you think Elba is the right actor for the role? Tell us in the comments!

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