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First Look of Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”



Idris Elba in Mandela Long Walk to Freedom - May 2013 - BellaNaija

“It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”

Add this movie to your must watch list! British actor Idris Elba will portray South African legend Nelson Mandela on the big screen.

The 40 year movie star is seen on the official poster with a Mandela look-a-like beard.

The movie slated for release on Friday 29th November 2013 in the UK, captures the story of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, spanning over seventy years, including his struggle against apartheid, 27 years in jail and his rise to prominence as a political leader and head-of-state.

James Bond beauty Naomie Harris will star opposite Idris Elba as his wife, Winnie Mandela. Directed by Justin Chadwick, the movie also stars South African actress Terry Pheto as Evelyn, Grant Swanby as Sergeant Voster and Robert Hobbs as Chief Warden.

We cant wait for the trailer! What are your thoughts on the poster…can Idris Elba pull off playing Mandela?


  1. kaycee kinsley

    June 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Idris Elba…cool actor..much will be expected!
    Anyways, lets keep our fingers crossed and see how the film turns out.
    Long Live Mandela!

  2. MelonX

    June 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I will hold my comment since I haven’t seen the preview. I just don’t see Idris in that role and this is Madiba’s flagship book being made into a movie. They should have selected an African actor, someone unknown but good. Seriously, Idris?

    • Brave

      June 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

      my thoughts exactly..idris elba is a great actor but i am skeptical about him being the one to play nelson mandela’s role.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

      I echo both your comments. There’s an innate cockiness to Idris that comes through in a lot of roles he plays (I don’t know if that’s what the roles require of if it’s just always a part of him) and Nelson Mandela is renowed for his passionate selflessness in fighting for his people and impressive humility. Even the poster isn’t selling Idris to me as Madiba. I’ll wait until I see something of the actual production…

    • Pace

      June 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Nelson Mandela was not always this humble. Why should he have been humble when he was Young, gifted and Black in Africa? Now way… The white folks in SA did not deserve humility

    • Teddy Bear

      June 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      By “African”, do you mean African-born? Because his parents are Africans.

    • nima

      June 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      idris elba is african! his parents are ghanaian and Sierra leonian. i think he’ll do a great job

  3. nnenne

    June 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

    my sentiments too. i doubt if he can pull the role. anyway, fingers crossed.

  4. nnenne

    June 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Love him though. Used to have this mad crush on him.

  5. olusola

    June 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    was hoping someone like Morgan Freeman doh, but Idris has more youthful tendencies than Freeman.

  6. Ngozika

    June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Fingers crossed…….Elba has way too much swag to pull off ‘humble Mandela’. If he does I’d be mighty impressed.

  7. Comfort

    June 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    You people have come again with this argument, about how a South African should have played Mandela, and how an Igbo woman should have played Olanna from Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. I think that in producing a movie for a legend like Mandela, you should only expect to see the very best actor portraying him on the screen, not necessarily a look- alike or a person of the same nationality.
    It is all about excellent- an excellent and convincing actor to pull it off!

  8. Emem

    June 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hasn’t this Mandela story been done to death????? Anyways isn’t Idris a bit too fine to play Nelson? I respect Mr. Mandela alot but even in his youth he did not have pretty boy looks….

    • Bella

      June 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Killed dead at your comment. BN kudos to making me live a healthier lifestyle, stress free o, na dis comments surely make my work day better o.

    • Rukky

      June 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      haha but how do you know that because tvs didn’t exist in his youth???? The only videos of him are when he was in his 40s especially after coming out of jail

    • L.A Chick

      June 6, 2013 at 1:59 am

      I don die, too funny! 🙂

  9. brendz

    June 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    @emem….keeping in real huh?! lol!

  10. Asake

    June 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Since I saw firsthand the nonsense he did at koko concert… Let’s just say I don’t feel the way I used to about Idris.

  11. Aryah

    June 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    If Morgan Freeman were still strong, he would be perfect for the role.

  12. fawaz

    June 4, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    almost all top black actors have played madela….

  13. kemi

    June 5, 2013 at 2:00 am

    if you see one of his major films “sometimes it rains in april” about the rwandan suicide, you would know he could do this role justice

  14. Ezinne V

    June 5, 2013 at 9:06 am

    @Kemi did u mean genocide?
    I’m feeling this movie I a UK production so uk black stars were used considering noami harris is playing his wife as well.
    But we will hav to see the trailer to knw
    Usually if Freeman was 30 or 20yrs younger he would normally have played the role
    But once again I think its cause its a uk production that’s y he was chosen

  15. Ezinne V

    June 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Like Freeman did in ‘Invictus'(where he played mandela) awesome movie

  16. ethyqueen

    June 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    just read the book and the context,age and timing of the Mandela at that time should be taken into consideration and irrespective of popular opinions,a good actor is one that is able to interpret any role given to him.I think Idris would do a fantastic job.The issue of morgan freeman is great but more of cliche`

    • Dj ones

      June 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      This poster is so wrong….. It looks like a Shaft movie poster or one for Luther season 3.
      I hope the movie is better than the poster….. This poster does not represent Mandela to me?

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