First look: Idris Elba’s ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ poster

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Idris Elba is poised to make a big splash at the movies this year.

Not only is the sexy British actor headlining Guillermo del Toro‘s latest sci-fi epic Pacific Rim, he will be also playing Nelson Mandela in the Oscar-baity biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. His performance as the legendary South African leader is already generating tremendous buzz.

Elba himself has not been shy about touting his upcoming movie.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Elba called his version of Mandela “hands down the best.”

He went on to clarify, “Not in terms of performance…but my film’s about his entire life. Anyone wanting to understand who Mandela was should go and watch my film.”

“Morgan Freeman is outstanding. Terrence Howard is an outstanding actor. But my film is about his life,” Elba added, referring to Freeman’s 1999 movie Invictus and Howard’s depiction of Mandela in Winnie – a 2012 film which never made it to theaters.

Now we’re getting our first glimpse of Elba as the iconic man. A promo poster for the movie has been released:

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Elba may have some stiff competition from his fellow black actors come awards season with both Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale) and Forest Whitaker (The Butler) earning early praise for their starring roles in prestige pictures due out this fall.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is expected to be released on November 27, 2013.

What do you think about the poster? Are you excited to see this film once it hits theaters?