Jennifer Hudson-Terrence Howard topliner “Winnie” — recounting the love story between Winnie and Nelson Mandela — is well into production in South Africa and will be repped worldwide by Ellen Wander’s Film Bridge Intl.
Film Bridge, based in L.A., will handle both domestic and international rights to the indie pic.
South African director Darrell Roodt began lensing June 7. “Winnie” will shoot throughout the summer in Johannesburg, the Transkei and Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned for fighting apartheid.
The film is a South African/Canadian co-production from Ironwood Films, Andre Pieterse’s Ma-Afrika Films and Michael Mosca’s Equinoxe Films. Mosca and Pieterse are producers.
Pieterse and Roodt penned the adapted screenplay, which is based on Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob’s book “Winnie Mandela: A Life.”
Hudson plays Winnie Mandela, a civil rights leader in her own right, yet a far more complicated figure than her husband. Howard portrays Nelson Mandela.
Winnie Mandela has been depicted as a mother and wife who was a steadfast supporter of her activist husband. She was jailed for campaigning for his release and fighting apartheid. Her image was subsequently tarnished by her association with a bodyguard accused of murdering a 14-year-old, as well as by a subsequent fraud conviction.
Producers and Film Bridge hope to have “Winnie” completed in time for the Berlin Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival.
Film Bridge’s slate includes Paul Schrader’s “The Jesuit” and “Ace,” an action-adventure that Vondie Hall will direct.
Pierce Brosnan is attached to star in “Ace.”