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‘Good Morning, Mr. Mandela’ Adaptation Finds Screenwriter in Shawn Slovo

Maven Pictures and Jacqui Lewis have hired screenwriter Shawn Slovo to adapt Zelda la Grange’s book “Good Morning, Mr. Mandela,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Published in 2014, it tells the story of her friendship and career with Nelson Mandela, who became the first president of post-apartheid South Africa in 1994. Although la Grange was raised in a racist community, she rose from being a typist in his office to became his gatekeeper and trusted confidant — while being ostracized by members of her own community.

Mandela served as the president until 1999 and remained active in his retirement. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Slovo is best known for the film “A World Apart,” based on her childhood in South Africa under apartheid and the lives of her anti-apartheid parents. Slovo won a BAFTA award for best screenplay in 1989 and the film nabbed the grand jury prize at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.

Maven, co-founded by Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler, produced Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey,” starring Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough, and Sasha Lane. The drama won the jury prize at Cannes this year and was released by A24.

Styler’s directorial debut, “Freak Show,” stars Alex Lawther, Bette Midler, AnnaSophia Robb, and Laverne Cox. It’s now in post-production.

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