Watch how a man of peace stands up to fight for his freedom in the latest TV spot for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Idris Elba stars as South African leader Nelson Mandela in this upcoming drama, which takes viewers through his entire life, including the 27 years he was imprisoned before being released and becoming the embattled nation's president. Director Justin Chadwick's drama, which co-stars Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela, debuts in limited release November 29, before opening nationwide on Christmas Day.