Jennifer Hudson playing Winnie Mandela
Jennifer Hudson looks set to play Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, and a controversial voice against apartheid in the country prior to that, holding the post of head of the African National Congress Women's League.
The film, Winnie, is set to tell her story adapted form the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography Winnie Mandela:A Life which has been adapted into a screenplay by Andre Pieterse, Roodt and Paul L. Johnson.
The film is being made with a lot of South African involvement both in monetary terms and talent, as it should be, and the South African director Darrell Roodt is set to lead the film.
Variety through The Guardian tell us that Jennifer Hudson is set to take up the role, and they also tell us that her entire life will be addressed in the film, not just the popular image of the husband of Nelson Mandela and a campaigner against Apartheid, but of the woman behind Winnie Mandela and her life.
She has been depicted as the mother and wife who was a steadfast supporter of her activist husband and who was jailed herself for campaigning for his release and fighting against apartheid. Her image was subsequently tarnished by association with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer, and she was later convicted of fraud.
So it will be a complex and difficult tale to tell, especially as she is such a respected figure these days and, together with her husband, seen as key figures in the dramatic change of South Africa, and yet she was convicted for involvement in the kidnapping, assault and death of a 14-year-old alleged informer.
Hudson is, of course, thrilled to be playing her:
"I was compelled and moved when I read the script…Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I'm honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."
It'll be an immense role for Jennifer Hudson, and another career defining moment for her. It's also going to be a great chance to learn more about the key figures that had a hand in the change of South Africa, and to find out some of the truth behind the headlines.