Rumour has it that Luther actor Idris Elba will play former South African president Nelson Mandela in a new biopic.

According to movie blog Flickering Myth, a deal is close to being finalised, and Elba will join the list of Hollywood actors such as Morgan Freeman, Sydney Poitier and Terrence Howard who have starred as Mandela in films.

Other actors who were rumoured to be up for the role were Will Smith and Denzel Washington, but it looks like Elba has beaten them to it!

Production on the film is expected to begin in 2012.