Laurence Fishburne will soon be taking time off from his granddad role on Black-ish to serve as the Father Of Freedom: he’s just been cast as the late Nelson Mandela in BET’s upcoming miniseries, Madiba. Deadline reports that Fishburne, who once got Furious and political for John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, will star in the six-hour series, which will be directed by Kevin Hooks (Backstrom, Prison Break).
Madiba will be based on two of Mandela’s own books—Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself—and will reportedly center on his life in the two years before he was imprisoned in 1962. If the timeline is right, then we could see Mandela in his South African Communist Party days, or a scene in which he burns his passbook in protest of South Africa’s racist pass laws. Mandela’s grandson, Kweku Mandela, is executive producing the series; he also produced the 2015 documentary Mandela’s Children. No writers are yet attached to the project, but filming in South Africa will reportedly begin in early 2016.