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Jennifer Hudson has signed on to play the title role in Winnie, the bio-pic of Winnie Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African leader Nelson Mandela. The film is scheduled to begin shooting in May in South Africa. It will be directed by Darrell J. Roodt, the South African filmmaker whose credits include Cry, The Beloved Country and Sarafina.

Hudson tells Variety, “I was compelled and moved when I read the script. Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman, and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told.”