When speaking of Big Driis’ career, the term “meteoric rise” may be completely apropos. Earlier in the week, we learned that Elba’s hit show Luther, may go to the big screen. Now, it looks as though Idris is about to sign on to play the role of Nelson Mandela, in an official biographical film about the iconic South African human rights leader.

The London born actor whose roots are directly from the Continent (his mother is Ghanaian; his father’s from Sierra Leone) is expected to start filming some time in 2012. Elba is set to join the ranks of talented actors who’ve been tapped to portray the apartheid activist in movies past including Terrance Howard in Winnie and Morgan Freeman in Invictus. Additionally, usual suspects Will Smith and Denzel Washington had been considered for the role, NME reports, but in the end, it appears as though the best man is about to win big.

  • African Mami

    How many Mandela films are going to be put out there. If there is one, I HIGHLY suggest that all the LEAD roles should be given to AFRICAN actors! I ain’t even playing! Every cottamn Mandela movie has imported actors when we have great talent at home that deserve the shine and exposure!

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Idris Elba may be eye candy for a lot of women and an actor, but eye candy does not make one suitable for a role (See: Ryan Reynolds in “Green Lantern”).

  • Pilot

    Hmmm, I don’t think that’s the right role for him. You have to remember, just because someone offers you a role, that doesn’t mean you should take it. You have to be the caretaker of your own career. You need to choose wisely. Even if it’s a great role, you have to ask yourself if you can be great in that role.

    In Hollywood, sometimes the actor that’s in a big movie and is great in that movie, well, many times, he might have been the third choice for that role. The first two guys took a pass, many times because they just couldn’t see themselves being great in that role. And they were probably right, even though the studio or director thought otherwise. The third guy takes the role and knocks it out of the park. And then everyone that sees the movie just can’t imagine anyone else in that role ever again.

    Let me give you an example: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. The role was originally slotted for Lance Henrikson, a friend of the director, James Cameron, but Henrikson had doubts. Then, Cameron talked to O.J. Simpson about the role, but Simpson balked over money, and then Cameron decided Simpson was “too nice” to play the Terminator anyway. Then Schwarzenegger was brought in to read for the part, and Cameron thought he could make that work, so Ah-nold got the role.

    Lance Henrikson got the role of Detective Vukovich in “The Terminator” and also got the role of Bishop in “Aliens”, another Cameron movie, and has had a good career since then.

    I think you know what happened to O.J. Simpson.

    There are a million stories like this in Hollywood.For instance, Denzel Washington turned down Brad Pitt’s role in “Se7en”, and he also turned down the lead role in “Blade” and the TV role of Detective Ricardo Tubbs in “Miami Vice”. He just didn’t think those roles were right for him and his career.

    Like I said, there are a million of these stories…

  • Pilot

    GS and Perverted Alchemist – Agreed, I don’t think this is the right role for him (as noted below in a longer comment). I also agree with Perverted Alchemist that I’d love to see Forest Whitaker take a shot at playing Mandela, whether it’s this movie or another. He’d do a great job playing Mandela.

    However, regarding Elba, I would love to see him in the James Bond role sometime, as was rumored repeatedly until Daniel Craig was re-signed recently. Boy, that role seems tailor-made for him! I’d really like to see that, but he may not be willing to do it, because the role requires that you sign upfront for 2 or 3 Bond movies over a multi-year period, because the producers don’t want to be switching out a new James Bond every movie, and a lot of actors don’t want to get tied down like that. But I hope he can do that before age creeps up on him.

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