It's been a long journey for this film; I feel like we've been talking about it for YEARS now!
About 3 months ago, it was announced that Image Entertainment had acquired all USA rights to Winnie, the Winnie Mandela biopic starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard.
One Village Entertainment and Image Entertainment (brands of Robert Johnson's RLJ Entertainment), later announced that the film, now titled Winnie Mandela (as opposed to just Winnie previously), will be released in USA theaters on September 6 - a couple of months before another Mandela film will be opening in USA theaters, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom starring Idris Elba (as Nelson) and Naomie Harris (as Winnie). And even though each film's focus differs (one tells Winnie's story; the other tells Nelson's story), comparisons between the two (especially the actors who play the individual roles) will likely happen.
TD Jakes (via his TDJ Enterprises) will "present" Winnie Mandela, which is produced by André Pieterse (Ironwood Films) and Michael Mosca (Equinoxe Films).
An adaptation of Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob’s biography Winnie Mandela: A Life, the film explores the personal and political life of the wife of renowned activist and revered former South African President, Nelson Mandela, telling the story of her struggle for the freedom during the Apartheid era.
Our readers in Canada would've already seen the film, because it was set to open there commercially last October, about a month after it was the opening night film at the 8th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival.
The film attracted controversy before a single frame was shot, primarily over the casting of Hudson, and the lack of communication with, and input from the real Winnie Mandela.
Jasmin interviewed director Darrell Roodt, last year for S&A, and you're strongly encouraged to read that interview HERE. In it, he addresses a lot of the questions many of you have had about the project since we first alerted you to it, like his reasons for casting Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard, the audience backlash against his casting choices, especially by South Africans, the real Winnie Mandela's objections to the project, what we can expect from the film, and more.
Again, read that interview HERE.
Watch the brand-new USA release trailer for Winnie Mandela below (thanks Ojie for alerting me to it):