OWN Acquires 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

The cable network will premiere the film in 2017.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired network television rights to The Weinstein Co.'s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Based on the 1996 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela follows the late South African leader's early life, education and nearly three decades spent in prison before becoming president and rebuilding the country's once-segregated society.

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Idris Elba plays Mandela, who died at 95 on Dec. 5, while Naomie Harris portrays his wife, Winnie Mandela.

The network will premiere the film, directed by Justin Chadwick, in 2017.

"We couldn't be more honored to showcase this powerful film to the OWN viewers," said Erik Logan, president of OWN. "Nelson Mandela was Oprah's hero, and ultimately, the inspiration behind Oprah's school in South Africa. His story of forgiveness and redemption is a gift not only to the people he touched, but to the world."

Added Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Co.: "We're delighted that this film has landed a television home at Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. Partnering with them ensures the picture will continue to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela for years to come."

Since opening in late November, Mandela has grossed $4.7 million at the box office. U2's "Ordinary Love" is nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Movie Award for best original song.

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