OWN has licensed the first broadcast window, behind pay TV, starting in 2017. The movie, based on the 1995 book Long Walk To Freedom, and former South African President Nelson Mandela, chronicles Mandela’s early life, coming of age, education and 27 years spent in prison before becoming President, and rebuilding the country’s once segregated society. Idris Elba (Prometheus, Luther) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.
OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey’s Harpo company and Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery Communications, also recently licensed the first broadcast window behind pay TV, also beginning in 2017, on The Weinstein Company’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler, in which Oprah was among the cast — her first movie role in 15 years. OWN president Erik Logan, in the announcement, said Mandela “was Oprah’s hero” and the inspiration behind her school in South Africa.