Jennifer Hudson To Play Winnie Mandela In Biopic

Singer/actress has reportedly signed on for 'Winnie,' about Nelson Mandela's former wife.

[artist id="2481017"]Jennifer Hudson[/artist] won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls” in 2007, and a role she’s recently signed on for looks like a strong contender for another big win.

According to Variety, Hudson will play the title role in “Winnie,” a South African film about the former wife of Nelson Mandela. The film, which is adapted from Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob’s biography “Winnie Mandela: A Life,” will be directed by Darrell Roodt, whose film “Yesterday” was nominated for the foreign language Oscar in 2005.

Winnie Mandela should be a challenging character to play. She’s a heroine of the anti-apartheid movement, having fought the South African government first alongside her husband and continuing while he was in prison. But she’s also far from being a complete role model. In addition to being unfaithful to Nelson Mandela, leading to the couple’s divorce, she’s been scrutinized for promoting violent action. She was convicted for her connection to the kidnapping and murder of a 14-year-old boy.

“Winnie” begins filming next May, which means it’s likely to premiere well after next month’s “Invictus,” an expected front-runner for multiple Oscars that stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Another Winnie Mandela film, the BBC TV movie “Mrs. Mandela,” which stars Hudson’s “Secret Life of Bees” co-star Sophie Okonedo in the title role, is planned in the coming months.